March 30, 2010

El Cautivo

Woo I love Spring Break!

El Cautivo

Spring Break in Spain is really called Semana Santa, or Holy Week. In Spain they celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ with day-long processions. The processions involve giant tronos, or floats, that are carried by men. The tronos depict different images and scenes of the life of Christ, such as his crucifixion or resurrections. Each trono of Christ is also accompanied by a trono of the Virgen Maria, or Virgin Mary.

The train of Maria Santisima. Notice the flowers on it? People throw flowers at their favorite processions.

And when I say giant, I mean giant; it takes between 20 and 250 men to carry these things! And the Spanish go all out decorating the tronos. Each trono is unique and different but elaborately decorated with pan of oro (gold leaf) and plato (silver). The images of Christ usually involve some bloody crucification details while the Virgins sport tears of crystals. The faces always express some sort of suffering, either with the physical suffering of Christ or the emotional suffering of the Virgin.

The tronos leave from their respective churches from all over Malaga. The procession then follows it's specific route around the town, which always include La Alameda, Calle Larios, and La Tribuna de los Ricos. After the route (which could anywhere between 4 and 8 hours to complete!), the tronos return to their churches. But not before a few encore performances! People gather around the church to watch the spectacle of encierro (putting away), but will continue to cheer and shout until they bring it back out. This happens at least once for every trono but the more popular ones may make 3 or 4 encore appearances, delaying the closing time by up to 2 hours!

El Cautivo with all of its 242 portadores!

The most well-known trono of the Malaga Semana Santa is El Cautivo that makes it's appearance on Lunes Santo. This year, the impressive El Cautivo was carried by 242 portadores. It was also accompanied by 500 nazarenos all decked out in white robes and tapados (their pointy hats). El Cautivo also generates a large following - 3,000 normal people walk behind the procession in their own vigil! The trono of Maria Santisima de la Trinidad Coronada follows behind El Cautivo. She is just as impressive - it took 270 portadores to carry her this year!

Nazarenos (NOT members of the KKK!)

Harley and I were lucky enough to nab a spot in La Tribuna de los Pobres to watch the whole procession!

Maria Santisima

Another unique aspect about the processions in Malaga is that the portadores carrying the tronos don't just walk - the sway back and forth with each step kind of like a boat. They do this because it's an homage to the thriving maritine business that has supported and sustained Malaga for hundreds of years. So cool!

So there's your history lesson for the day, kiddos! See you in 13 days :)

1 comment:

Beth said...

great lesson! can't wait to see you sooooooooon! LOVE YOU!