Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Holy Week in León -- Family, Tradition & Food

Holy Week in León is an event -- a family affair -- something that cannot be ignored. It is a week filled with ancient and modern traditions. Thousands, sometimes ten of thousands spill into the streets to witness some of the thirty-six processions conducted during the ten days of Holy Week. While some processions are small with only a few hundred participants, others are huge, with several thousand people marching through the streets in traditional costumes, some bearing gigantic religious floats (pasos), others playing musical instruments or simply playing their part by marching along.

Those who march in the processions are of all ages.  This younger participant
is on the way to the Church of Santa Nonia, where he will take part in the three hour
Procesión de la Pasión along with three thousand other marchers.  (You
can click on images for a larger view.)

Children proudly pose in front of the Church of Santa Nonia before the procession.

An hour before the procession, members of the brotherhood are already taking their places around the early 17th century paso.
A Lady prepares for the procession in the loft of the Church.
One of the three pasos dates to the 16th century.

 Crowds stand for more than an hour to view the three pasos leave the church.  Most processions, like this one are at night.

About two hours into the procession, the float still has about an hour to go before it returns to the Church of Santa Nonia.  The Baroque detail is typical of the 17th century.

Detail from the 17th century paso.  A cherub helps bear the weight of
Christ carrying the cross.

After a procession ends at ten or eleven at night, sometimes later, participants spill into the bars and restaurants for drinks and tapas. Bars in Spain are family-friendly, but are open through the wee hours of the morning.

A glass of wine accompanied by a cup of garlic soup as a tapa at the Camarote Madrid helps to warm one up after a procession.  Note the variety of olives in the background.  They are also excellent tapas.

As Holy Week in León progresses, I'll have more insight and more images during the upcoming days.  If you missed yesterday's overview of Holy Week in  León, you can find it here.

You can view my website at www.tombellart.com.

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