This weekend was the culmination of the fiesta of Corpus Christi. It represents the 60 days after Easter and is chock full of traditions that are ruckus and confusing. We have no idea what so much of it means or why they’re doing it at all. Luckily, some of it was described to us while it was happening. But some of it was just experienced. We have no clue what that part represents.
Around noon, we walked through the square near the church and discovered a large crowd. Some of the people were crowded around a woman dressed in a fancy white dress. She wore a mask, so her face was obscured, and her head was covered in a veil. Sort of like a scary bride in Phantom of the Opera.
A bit out in front of the church was a group of children dancing in various costumes depicting both the moors and others. We watched their performance (apologies for my short arms so the video is as good as I could get) and then saw the crowd surge down the street and lots of shouting. Of course, I had to follow the noise and plunge in.
Looking up, there were people standing on balconies. Over the heads of the crowd, I could see men waving clubs and shouting at the people on the balconies. Then the people on the balconies began shooting water at the men with the clubs and dumping large buckets of water on them and the crowd. Shouting and cheers were going up as the water hit home. Madness.
Then the men with the clubs, dressed in sack cloth and with their heads covered in leaves and their faces and bodies painted, passed by me and I was conked on the head as I recorded their trek. Why was all this going on? Again, no real idea. But it was really funny and the people seemed to love getting wet.
Later that evening was the procession. They put up chairs lining the route and you can pay 3,50 euros to claim a front row seat. We chose this as the procession is a long one. The man sitting next too Jeff explained some of what we were seeing. Again, the woman in the bride costume showed up and was accompanies by 7 men with black veils. These are the 7 deadly sins that tempt.
The procession included the Eucharist carriages we had seen last week pulled by costumed ponies, and ALOT of little girls in white dresses marching in commemoration of their first communion. I’m surmising that the woman in the veil with the 7 deadly sins have something to do with being a physical manifestation of what can happen if one’s heart doesn’t remain pure and temptation creeps in.
We met some new friends at this parade. Some we’ll keep in touch with. I’m excited that we have been able to participate in so many fiestas so far and it makes us feel more part of the community. And many of these happen on the weekend that it makes it easier to participate and enjoy.