Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easter 2017

Here in Spain, Easter is a big deal -- I wrote a whole post on it last year -- refresh your memory here.  If you need a quick recap: the whole week is called Semana Santa or Holy Week (and it is actually Spain's version of spring break for all schools -- it doesn't matter when Easter falls, the week before is always spring break for schools but it is called Semana Santa, not spring break)...  And most of the country is closed for the Thursday and Friday of Semana Santa.  Each day of the week, starting on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), has processions signifying specific biblical events corresponding to the holy day.  Each procession has at least one paso or float that is carried by men, a band and those walking along wearing traditional clothing.

Anyways, we thoroughly enjoyed our experiences of Semana Santa last year that we made it a priority to experience it again this year.  It also helped that lately Serafina has been obsessed with watching videos on my phone, including those videos from last year's processions and the Semana Santa videos are some of her favorite!

So on Palm Sunday, we made our way into the old town area of our little town with some friends who had not experienced Semana Santa processions before.  We watched from a distance as the paso emerged from the church and the band was playing right in front of us.  Serafina was so beyond excited I didn't know who to watch -- our daughter or the actual procession!  When the procession passed us, Serafina was so sad and kept asking for more drums and horse (she thought Jesus was riding on a horse, not a donkey).

the Peanut's favorite paso
We wanted to see more processions and we also knew Serafina would love it so we went again on Thursday (Jueves Santo) as well as Friday (Good Friday or Viernes Santo).  And again, Serafina loved it -- and we loved watching her.  On Friday, she could hear the drums but couldn't see them.... she was so excited, she climbed into her stroller and sat for OVER AN HOUR while the procession slowly made its way towards (and past) us.  Now, if you know our toddler, you know that this is unheard of -- she does not sit still. Ever.  And if you've seen the processions, you know that they are not lively and exciting, but our child loves them -- the drums, the pasos and everything in between!

notice the man walking barefoot (this procession will last for 5+ hours); those walking are showing their penance and mourning

the guys with the burlap on their heads are taking a break from carrying the paso

On Saturday we went to the base's egg hunt and Serafina loved it -- she had a blast finding a whole bunch of eggs and was very sad when it was over.  We have been playing with the plastic eggs ever since!

On Easter, we woke up late and Serafina dug through her Easter basket (she was very confused as to why she was getting presents) -- we actually haven't spent much time talking about the Easter Bunny at our house....  But we did have a seriously yummy American brunch -- complete with torrijas -- traditional Semana Santa food in Spain.  I'll write another post with the recipe, but essentially it is friend french toast!

So once again we celebrated Easter for a full week and it was wonderful.  I can say with confidence that this is one tradition we will miss greatly whenever we return back to the states -- Easter is quickly becoming our favorite holiday, especially in Spain.

Just a little side note -- I really wanted to see a paso emerge from a church and I was able to do so on Thursday and it was as amazing as I had expected.  Thursday's paso was too tall to get out of the church, so the men carrying it most likely had to walk on their knees to get it out of the church -- and when it finally emerged and the men hoisted it up (remember these weight a ton, literally) -- the crowd erupted in cheer!  It was quite the sight to see and one I definitely need to see again.

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