Yesterday, as I mentioned yesterday, was Corpus Christi. Sevilla is one of the few cities in Spain that celebrates the holiday on its original date, 60 days after Easter Sunday. Once again, all the brotherhoods in the city participated, this time in one long, slow procession. It began just before 8:30 with guards and musicians marching to the Cathedral.
|AT THE SOUTH END OF PLAZA DE SAN FRANCISCO. HEADING TO THE CATHEDRAL.|
I then heard glorious organ music from within the Cathedral, followed by the powerful ringing of all the bells of the Giralda, which I was able to watch from below. That was inspiring. I was told the procession is traditionally led from the Cathedral by six children carrying hatchets. I’m grateful to SOONKS (see the comments below) for explaining that to me. Someone had done a literal translation of the words hachas or hachones into the English word, hatchets. What is really meant by that is the long candles they carry (which as you can see in the photo are different from the unadorned long candles carried by the brotherhoods.
|NOT REALLY “HATCHETS.” HACHAS OR HACHONES.|
Following the boys with hatchas are statues or relics representing famous saints and events in Sevillano and Catholic history. Each image is followed by a brotherhood (in order of longevity). I stood (with all my aches and pains from my battle with the bed) for about two-and-a-half hours. I’m very glad I took the time to be there.
|SANTA ANGELA DE LA CRUZ.
(FOUNDER OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE CROSS)
The oldest record of this event in Sevilla is from 1428. In 1532, the procession began to take the route it still takes today — 480 years later. (By comparison, I once worked in the same place for 5-1/2 consecutive years; but I changed my commuting route regularly because I desperately needed some kind of change.) They processed through nearby streets and the celebration continued with a large event in Plaza de San Francisco. I instead went and met Jerry for breakfast.
|SANTA JUSTA AND SANTA RUFINA, BOTH OF SEVILLA.
(FLANKING A BEAUTIFUL BRONZE REPLICA OF THE GIRALDA.)
|BISHOP ISIDORE (SAN YSIDRO) OF SEVILLA.|
|BISHOP LEANDER (SAN LEANDRO) OF SEVILLA.|
I didn’t follow the procession along its entire route; I simply stayed in the vicinity of the Cathedral until I saw the statue of King Ferdinand III of Castille (San Geraldo’s 22-greats grandfather, which I’m sure you remember by now). It looked to me like that was the end of the procession, but I’ve since read that there are four other relics that process. I don’t now if they were simply mixed in with what I had already seen or if they actually followed San Leandro. Maybe I’ll find out next year.
GREATS-GRANDPA KING FERDINAND III — SAN FERNANDO EL REY.
(WRAPPED, JUST FOR THE OCCASION, IN HIS ERMINE CAPE.)
It was fascinating to compare the dress and comportment of the different brotherhoods — from oldest to newest. The earlier groups were dressed consistently and formally. Later groups were at times very casual. The last brotherhood I saw included teens in jeans and chinos, with obviously no previous discussion about an overall look for the group. A very early and prominent brotherhood was led by men (including a lawyer we know) in formal morning suits.
|SENSIBLE SHOES? SOME OF THE BROTHERHOOD MEMBERS AS THEY MARCHED.|
The streets were strewn with sprigs of a variety of evergreens. It smelled luscious but was obviously not easy to walk on. The women marchers in some of the brotherhoods wore matching, and practical, low-heeled shoes. Later women were decked out in very trendy heels. Some bordered on “Joan Crawfords” — not very practical for marching and standing and marching and standing and marching and standing. But they’re feet and legs looked great. And I suppose that’s all that matters.
|SENSIBLE SHOES! A PEAK AT A GROUP OF COSTALEROS.|