La Semana Santa
Ever since the Middle Ages Spanish people have taken part in the processions during the Semana Santa (Holy Week) to remember the suffering of Christ and Maria. The enormous pasos are being carried through the small streets from church to cathedral, partially on the knees. Hours before the start onlookers gather along the route to catch a glance of the participants, of which many are encouraged by proud friends and family. The tunics (nazarenos) and masks, called capirotes, may solely be worn by the members of the brotherhood that leads the procession. The face is covered originally allowing the participants to pay for their sins anonymously. Women wear black veils to commemorate the passing of Jesus. 'But Semana Santa is not exclusively a religious festival anymore', says Paolo from Granada. 'Nowadays it has a lot more to do with folklore and tradition, where many participants have no connection to the church anymore'. On Easter Sunday the masks may be taken off to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.