Mardid – Strict religion mixes with art and cultural traditions in the streets of Spain on Good Friday, with thousands of faithful Catholics flocking to processions while just as many are off on tourist excursions.
As usual, Seville was the center of processions, the biggest being the Madruga with the six brotherhoods in their pointed hoods marching from midnight on Holy Thursday until noon on Good Friday.
But the rain, the worst enemy of Holy Week, started coming down at 7:00 a.m., forcing the six brotherhoods to seek shelter in nearby churches.
Nonetheless, the venerated Jesus del Gran Poder, a true gem of baroque imagery, had no problem completing the procession, though its float had to be trimmed down to enter its church.
The weather did respect the Procession of the Salzillos in the southeastern city of Murcia, where sculptures by 18th century artist Francisco Salzillo were carried through the streets for eight hours.
Another ceremony whose popularity has spread beyond the borders of Spain is the cacaphony of drumbeats to mark the so-called Breaking of the Hour, which takes place in the northern town of Calanda, internationally known as the hometown of filmmaker Luis Buñuel.
The silence, a sign of Holy Week devotion, was shattered as it is every Good Friday at 12:00 p.m. with the beating of drums to mark the time when Christ died, a ritual that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
Good Friday is also the day when Madrid has most of its processions, with up to six in the downtown area.