I have come to notice that I haven’t really spoken much about my current situation here on my blog yet, so allow me to briefly set the scene for you guys. As of this moment I am living in the south of Spain in a little town called Montilla and have been doing so for the past……*counts fingers* seven months (wow doesn’t it scare you how time just creeps up on you like that). Whilst being out here I have been working as a teaching assistant and teacher actually, as part of my degree back home, but at the same time have had to learn to adapt and adjust to new surroundings and consequently a new way of life.
Since moving out here one of the things I was looking forward to most was Easter, simply because I had heard so many great things about it, and the celebrations seemed to be on a much larger scale in comparison to the non-existent ones back home in London. My Easter usually consists of relaxing with family, enjoying my auntie’s amazing fried fish with hard dough bread (if you know, you know), my dad trying to replicate it but failing miserably, and then the whole religion aspect of it all is pushed to the background somewhere. However here in Spain, there is no doubt that the religious aspect of Easter or Semana Santa, is very much at the forefront, but not in a way to exclude if you, if you are not a religious person. Somehow even if you have no idea what is going on or do not consider yourself particularly religious it still manages to be an enjoyable experience for all and I think that’s one of the things that makes it so spectacular.
On Good Friday or Viernes Santo as it is known over here, I was awoken by the sound of loud traditional compositions of trumpets, drums and cheers and I knew right away that this day was going to be an adventure. As I mentioned before, the town that I live in is very small (like I can’t leave my house without seeing somebody that I know kind of small), so when I stepped out outside my front door I couldn’t believe the mass of people stood outside before me. A friend soon confirmed to me that this is probably the only day in the year where the whole town comes outside, and I can absolutely see why. There is so much going on along the streets and even the narrow winding pathways. It felt like one massive town party with adults, teens, and children all dressed up, wine flowing (of course), families opening up their homes for all to pass through just to socialise, tapear (some things you just can’t translate), mingle and have a good time.
Now let’s get to the main event…. The processions, although Spain is well known for their spectacular processions across the country I really did not know what to expect. So for those who are knew to this like me, try to imagine hundreds of men women and kids parading in the streets, where mainly men are carrying on their shoulders these massive floats known as ‘Pasos’ each representing a different religious scene relating to Easter. I am always fascinated when I take the chance to pay attention to detail of the world around me, and the thing I admire most about the Pasos is that they really are works of art where some have been around for centuries and have still been maintained to a high quality which just demonstrates the sacredness of them. Moreover, I just love how this ritual unites the whole country together still after all these years.
So all in all my ALOA would have to be that for many here in Spain, Semana Santa is like one big carnival for people to come together and be merry, and feel part of something really unique and special. Maybe it’s because I have been fully immersed into small town life now, but I can see why it is a tradition which plays such a huge role in Spanish culture, as it spreads so much joy and positive unity, and more importantly I definitely feel we could do with a little more of this back home in London.
Until the next Adventure
Amora First x