Scribbler in Seville

Out came The Sun

Hermano from El Sol

This afternoon I persuaded my long-suffering family that we should make our one-and-only Semana Santa visit together to Seville. The last couple of days were total wash-outs, with every one of the pasos due to make their procession through the streets from their church to the Cathedral being cancelled because of the unrelentingly wet weather. The Madrugada, Thursday night’s highly atmospheric processions, for many the highlight of the whole week, were cancelled for the first time since the Civil War.

Apart from the disappointed tourists who have come all the way to Seville to see its world-famous Holy Week processions – the statues and elaborate scenes of Jesus at the Last Supper, being tried by the Romans, being crucified; and of the Virgin Mary – along with the nazarenos wearing their tunics and notoriously, um, spooky pointed hoods (capirotes) with eyeholes, reminiscent of the Klu Klux Klan; some barefoot, some shackled, some bearing crosses, many bearing long candles (cirios) – the members of the cofrades who have spent all year preparing for this moment, cleaning their robes, polishing their instruments, decorating their pasos, are all gutted, crushed, left looking to the skies in desperation and despair.

Front page of Seville newspaper from Wednesday, Miercoles Santo.

We were lucky enough to see the one and only paso – El Sol – which managed to make its way from its church (in the south-east of the city) to the cathedral today, and the first since Wednesday. Of the others, apart from Trinidad, which left its home only to retreat soon after from the downpour, none took part in the traditional Semana Santa celebrations. It was only El Sol (La Fervorosa y Mariana Hermandad de Nuestra Señora del Sol, to give it its full name)’s second year of taking part in this major event, which explains its hermanos’ keeness to come out.

We watched El Sol as it passed the Carlos V roundabout, at the corner of the Juzgados and the Prado, passing along the tramlines (not the most photogenic spot), and moving into calle San Fernando, with the University, better known as the tobacco factory where Carmen worked, as a backdrop.

First was the capataz, the man who tells people to get the **** out of the way, to make space for the procession to pass – they were on the road, and we had to hop up onto the grassy kerb pretty sharpish. He is wearing a pendant which shows the symbol of this hermandad – El Sol, the sun.

Capataz of El Sol hermandad

Then came the band, Banda de Cornetas y Tambores Nuestra Señora del Sol, with their bright blue uniforms, again bearing sun logos – this time on their arms.

El Sol band member

Then came some nazarenos, some with hessian belts, and smart silver candle-holders. Their tunics were dark green, and they number about 600 in total.

Hermano wearing his faja de esparto and non-pointy hood, and carrying his cirio (candle).

Then, the paso of Jesus, (deep breath) Santo Cristo Varón de Dolores de la Divina Misericordia (see name on cloth on band member’s wrist, above). It’s one of the most recently crafted images to appear in the Semana Santa processions, dating from 2003. The dark, threatening clouds give you an inkling of why this hermandad had cojones to come out at all.

Paso of Cristo Varon de Dolores

Here is a close-up shot of the Cristo, silhouetted against the stormy sky.

Christ against the tram lines.

Then he went up Calle San Fernando, among the palm trees, by the tobacco factory (just visible through the foliage). You can only imagine how spectacular the scene would have been with blue skies and, er, sun.

Christ on San Fernando, with tobacco factory behind.

Then came some more nazarenos, this time carrying crosses.

Hermano carrying cross with sun logo.

And finally, when my camera battery had run out, the Virgin, Nuestra Señora del Sol, who is also a newcomer on the paso scene, just three years young. I took a quick snap with my mobile phone.

Nuestra Señora del Sol

This hermandad has about 35 costaleros for each paso – the men who carry the statues, hidden under the cloths which hang down from the platforms (see above – it’s green). Here are some costaleros, also with their sun logo.

Costalero for El Sol

So El Sol didn’t get much sol; we pegged it to the Metro to go home shortly afterwards, just catching the first few drops of rain. The sun did come out briefly, and I saw a wonderful photo of someone from El Sol, with the sun shining on their pendant.

After that, it poured consistently for the next three hours, and the procession was stuck in the cathedral till about 9pm, scuppering the remaining five processions which were due to go out this afternoon. And so ends Semana Santa 2011 in Seville – a wash-out, with a few bright spots.

5 thoughts on “Out came The Sun

  1. Emily

    Wow, I can’t believe it was stuck in the cathedral for three hours! At least they were close by and not on the Campana or somewhere far less convenient. Did you make it home unsoaked? That rain was torrential.

    1. Fiona Flores Watson

      Almost unsoaked – we got back to our car (went on Metro) just as heavens opened in Seville, then went for a coffee in local town, and ended up staying there for ages due to torrential rain, even though car was two streets away!!

  2. azahar

    Crazy weather this year, and very sad for those who put their hearts into it.

    On the bright side, won’t have to water the plants on the terraza today.

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