Imagine this. The streets are full of people. The men and boys are in suits, the women and girls in pretty dresses. Couples of all ages, families and groups of friends are everywhere. Figures who chillingly resemble the KKK are walking past you…
The crowds thicken until you can no longer move. You hear drums, trumpets, processions; everything is a blur. Suddenly, a large, moving, gold object emerges from nowhere; it holds a statue of Jesus carrying the cross. People gaze up in awe and begin to cry; they have been waiting for this….
To an outsider, Semana Santa can seem absurd. The mixture of the ‘party’ atmosphere with the overt devotion to moving gold statues is… uncomfortable.
Yet, I respect the tradition, I do. Like other customs, it marks identity and unites families. It also brings routine and normality to a year. The sevillanos rehearse for Semana Santa and look forward to it, long in advance.
You have to see it to really believe it. But no, I wouldn’t recommend visiting Sevilla in Semana Santa. Not unless you are open-minded, empathetic and…a real fan of huge crowds!