This year, for the first time since 2011, all the pasos in Seville’s Semana Santa processions have gone out to do their journeys of penitence.
From Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) to now, Viernes Santo (Good Friday), there haven’t been any cancellations due to bad weather. The sun has shone almost constantly, providing a spectacular backdrop of blue skies for the centuries-old statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The processions take up to an hour to go past, with hundreds of nazarenos (with tall, pointed hoods) and penitentes (with flat hoods carrying crosses) – both with only eye holes, walking in two single file lines.
Some penitentes and nazarenos are barefoot as part of their penitence, or only wear socks, and many are young people or children. The smallest are monaguillos, or choirboys (and girls), with little baskets of sweets to give out. Many are accompanied in the processions by parents or friends. With the heat of this week, water was a neccessity for those walking considerable distances wearing long, thick, heavy, dark-coloured robes.
Here are some images of pasos (floats) and nazarenos in front of Seville’s best-known monuments, from the Alcazar and Cathedral to Plaza España, as well as the latest architectural marvel, Metropol Parasol.
A Semana Santa with superb weather, as we’ve seen throughout Andalucia this year, not only makes for a great experience for participants and audience; it also boosts the economy, with hotel occupancy at 95+% for the holiday weekend here in Seville, and bars and restaurants doing a roaring trade. And for those who head out of town for the festivities, the beach is an inviting option too, to the delight of hotels, apartments and chiriginguitos all along our five coasts. A win-win situation all round.