Monday, April 5, 2010

Semana Santa

Semana Santa, known as Holy Week in the U.S., is a pretty big deal here in Spain. Lots of people are on vacation and everything is closed on the Friday before and the Monday after Easter. There are parades and celebrations of varying sizes all over the country to remember the death and rising-from-the-dead of Jesus. Barcelona seems to be more secular than other Spanish cities so there are fewer large-scale festivities to see but I did get to go to one smallish event on Friday that took place at the Barcelona Cathedral.

El Sermón de las Siete Palabras (The Sermon of the Seven Words) is done on every Good Friday. It starts with a team of people carrying a platform that has a crucifix mounted on top. They walk about a block to the front of the cathedral where a large crowd has gathered.

A series of priests do readings from the various bible passages that quote the seven different things it is believed that Jesus said while on the cross before his death. These include (in summary): why don't they understand what they've done, I'm thirsty, and into your hands I commend my spirit. (yes, I had to look it up...)

Other cities in Spain, as I mentioned, and around the world have much larger events that take place. Maybe I'll try to hit one of the bigger ones somewhere else next year. :-)

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