Easter is here again and Spain is full of processions. It is time of brorhoods and bearers, trumpets and drums, carvings that travel through cities and arrows that break silence to pay homage to figures that tell old history of Passion of Christ. The streets are filled with people and staging of each procession is laden with religious resonances: chains, barefoot, hoods, words that speak of Jesus and Virgin. Any tourist could, at first sight, be struck by intensity of links that still retains Spain with its Catholic tradition.
Unless you stay a little longer, because n you will soon observe that processions are linked to past of this country, yes, but that have ceased to be a ritual strongly linked to Catholic faith and that are, first of all, anor example of its imposing Riquez A cultural. There will be many who still flock to Holy Week appointments to express ir religious commitment, but for vast majority processions have come out of realm of belief and are nothing more than one more opportunity to revisit traditions. Traditions that are cared for with meticulous care and a often dazzling mastery.
Still at end of sixties of last century, and even later, Holy Week referred to authority of church, to its ritual demands and to duties that faithful have with ir own faith. In 21st century Spain, religion is part of private life of each and most common is that processions are nothing more than a good excuse to enjoy vitality of some ancient cultural forms. It is not about Frivolizar, just to remember that national Catholicism of Francoism has already been, fortunately, too far. As much as some continue to defend contrary.
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