Tuesday, 22 April 2014

La cofradia de la Milagrosa

Thanks to our friend, Gastón, we were proud owners of the Semana Santa application on our phone, the Llamador. There was all the information here that we needed, numbers of nazarenos and their colours, itinerary, map and approximate times of where the processions can be expected. We absolutely loved this app and it helped us out many times during the Holy Week.

According to our cool app there was another procession on Saturday that we could watch, the La Milagrosa. It was especially important as we had just moved to the new neighbourhood and this procession belongs to that neighbourhood’s brotherhood. However there was one intriguing detail: next to the name there wasn’t any picture of the nazarenos! A cofradía without nazarenos? Is that possible? We had to go and see it for ourselves.

It all seemed to be true. The people who were walking with the giant candles were completely ‘ordinary’, they weren’t wearing any weird outfits, only smart clothes. However when the paso got closer we saw a group of soldiers. They were marching to the rhythm, the sun shone on their armour and it looked like it was made of gold. The soldiers represented the Jewish Guard.

Then came a huge paso with many figures and even a horse!

Even without the nazarenos we found this procession very impressive. When we turned around to make our way home, we saw a beautiful sunset.

Can nazarenos be women, too?
Now this is an interesting question. According to the Spanish I have been quizzing about this it seems that not very long ago only men could be part of the actual procession. The women had a lot to do during the year, such as sewing outfits and insignias, looking after and decorating the floats etc. however they were banned from participating in the cofradía. Feminism however reached Spain, too, and nowadays you can see painted nails, a pink pair of socks or a colourful bracelet here and there flashing out from the nazareno outfit.
Having said that there are still a few brotherhoods who consider tradition more important than feminism and they still don’t accept women nazarenas.

Isn’t that discriminating?
It might seem like the brotherhoods in Seville have something against women however things are changing in this area as we speak. As I said, most of them are happy to accept female nazarenos, too.
On the other hand to me it seems that the event is impressively inclusive.  I have seen a nazareno in a wheelchair and even one who had Downs syndrome. He even had a candle although it wasn’t lit and he didn’t have his face covered like all the rest of the others.

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