Spain is a land full of famed traditions. Some are so well known, they border on the cartoonishly stereotypical, like bullfighting and flamenco. Others, like La Tomatina, a tomato throwing festival, and Las Fallas, an effigy burning ceremony in Valencia, may be less famous but are more fun and less barbaric.
That being said, that entire country seems to come alive for Semana Santa (holy week,) the week before Easter. All over the country, there are different traditions, but there is one that stands out among all is the Processions.
During Semana Santa there are several different traditions that transpire over the course of the week, but they all culminate on Easter Sunday. Community members wearing cloaks or capirotes gather at a church in order carry the tronos (floats or thrones) around the city. The tronos usually carry statues of the Virgin Mary or Jesus.
Los capirotes may look familiar to American readers, but be assured that they have nothing to due with the American terrorist group who wears similar fashion.
These are a few of the pictures I took last year in Malaga on Easter during the processions.
On a much smaller scale, here in Menorca, there is another tradition just for Lent. The Friday after Carnival, there is the rebirth of the old woman with seven feet. For each week of Lent, you remove one of her feet. You continue this until Good Friday, when all her feet have been removed and she dies–until next year.
She carries with her a fish, oil and a grill. All serve as a reminder that you should not eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Suffice it to say, Menorca is an island, so eating fish isn’t much of a sacrifice, pero bueno. It is tradition. S’Avia Corema also represents the death of Winter and the birth of Spring. She is a popular figure for children in the Catalán speaking regions of Spain.
A video of S’Avia Corema in action.