Friday, 18 April 2014

Semana Santa | Reuters' Full Focus

Photo © REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo-All Rights Reserved
Try to say the following in one go...without pausing to take your breath.

"Holy Week is the week preceding Easter and the final week of Lent. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Holy Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday. Holy Week includes Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) and Good Friday, which, together with Holy Saturday, are known as the Triduum. Before the revision of the liturgical calendar in 1969, Holy Week was the second week of Passiontide; in the current calendar, Passiontide is synonymous with Holy Week."

Out of breath and confused? That's okay.

Reuters Full Focus has two dozen photographs of the Holy Week, which are worth you stopping by. Most of the remaining photo bogs will sooner or later feature photographs of this week long event, but Reuters was the first.

I have a travel photography bucket list, and the Semana Santa event in Seville is certainly on it. This event is one of the important traditional events of the city, and is celebrated in the week leading up to Easter. The week features the procession of floats of lifelike wooden sculptures of individual scenes of the events of the Passion, or images of the Virgin Mary showing grief. Some of the sculptures are ancient, and are revered.

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

I attended a Semana Santa in La Antigua (Guatemala), and it was quite an experience. Although small, it featured some rituals indigenous to this Central American nation, which included covering streets of La Antigua with natural, aromatic carpets of flowers, pines, clover and fruits, which the residents made and placed in front of their homes.

I'm interested in the Spanish observances during Holy Week, especially in the smaller towns and villages where one can see processions of hooded flagellants in chains and performing self mortifications...and this is on the bucket list.