Locked- down Spain celebrates Holy Week only with religious music from balconies

Published on : Thursday, April 9, 2020

In the week leading to Easter Sunday, hundreds of colorful processions featuring penitents in cone-shaped hoods and centuries-old religious floats traditionally flood the streets of villages and cities across Spain. But this year with a nationwide lockdown in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, the people of Spain are finding ways to mark Holy Week from their homes, by blasting religious music from their balconies or viewing videos of last year’s parades.

 

 

In the western city of Salamanca, the association of religious brotherhoods that organises processions is posting pictures on social media of religious icons that would normally be paraded through the streets at the hour that would have taken place.

 

 

Jose Adrian Cornejo said that their official youtube channel are posting a video of the procession from last year.

 

 

There is one part of the processions that can still go ahead — the singing of “saetas”, short, flamenco prayers sung from balconies which are especially popular in the southwestern region of Andalusia.

 

 

Saetas are usually sung as effigies of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary are carried past, but this year they are being performed to empty streets.

 

 

 

Type in “saetas of confinement” on YouTube and several events come up, including one by Alex Ortiz in Seville — which is not staging Easter processions for the first time since 1933 —  who sings of a “sad spring” without “drums or bugles” in the streets.

 


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