Dear Family and Friends,
When Chuck was mapping out this trip to Spain, he purposefully selected this week for us to be in Cuenca. Cuenca is one of the cities in Spain that has processions for Holy Week. They have them all during Holy Week, sometimes 2 or 3 a day. The weather has been so bad, not only in Cuenca, but all over Spain that most of them have been cancelled.
One of the startling things abut these processions is that the participants cover their heads...(hide their identity?) Actually, they look like members of the Klu Klux Klan. Some say their faces are covered in mourning, and also as a sign of shame for the sins they have committed throughout the year.
Different groups (brotherhoods) come together and make up a procession. In Cuenca, each group has a specific color of costume. The processions have themes. The one we saw yesterday (Good Friday) had the theme of the CROSS. Images were taken from churches and cathedrals all over the city and carried through the streets. These images (some very heavy) are placed on long polls, which the costumed men carry on their shoulders. This custom has been going on in Spain for hundreds of years. You might want to read a little more, if so click here .
Yesterday's parade started at noon and lasted for six or seven hours as the procession went from church to church in the historic part of Cuenca collecting more Images. Each Image had a different brotherhood responsible for it....so the procession got longer as it went along. The one we saw here in Cuenca seemed to be very family oriented. Children were included...we even saw babies being pushed along in strollers.
When we went to breakfast on Good Friday in our hotel, we were surprised to find that it was snowing. We were sure that, once again, the procession would be canceled. There had been one scheduled to start at 5:30 am that morning that was canceled because of the weather.
It's hard to see in the picture but it was coming down good.
Here we are feeling apprehensive as we watched the weather.
These are the hills behind the old town.
As the morning progressed the weather improved. It was bitterly cold, but it stopped raining and snowing. We put on every layer of clothing that we had and headed out.
We saw the procession where it began in the new part of Cuenca and after we had lunch we walked up to Plaza Mayor to see it come through the historic streets of the city.
The bands played very slow, somber music and the walking was done very slow.
I made tons of pictures, so I will just add some here and hope you enjoy.