Passing By Before The Parade

Sevilla’s teams of Semana Santa costaleros, the guys who carry the floats (click here to see some from last year) have been practicing in the streets lately. Another group came by our plaza last night.



I can’t believe we won’t be living in Sevilla to see Semana Santa a second time (click here for a post from last year). It will be fun to witness the processions and events in Málaga, but it won’t be the same as living in the center of the historic part of Sevilla and watching the processions pass directly below our balconies and right by our plaza. Although, maybe a procession in Fuengirola will pass right by our terrace.


The costaleros are usually well-hidden by plush velvet curtains, so it’s fascinating to see them practicing beneath a simple base without those, the flowers, statues, candles and other additions that can make the float itself weigh up to 7,000 pounds (3,150 kilograms). It’s hard to imagine that during the actual festivities, the costaleros do this job with their vision almost completely obscured, leaving them reliant on drum beats, coded knocking on the float, and other non-visual cues. Admiration aside, I doubt this is what San Geraldo had in mind when he mentioned wanting a dozen burly men for his own procession (click for that post).


P.S.: I’ve been including “click here” lately along with my hypertext links because I was told that not everyone knew to “click here.” I don’t want anyone to miss anything.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

14 thoughts on “Passing By Before The Parade”

  1. Wow! Tight quarters in there! I didn't realize so many men were under one of those things. But, at 7000 pounds, it makes sense.

    Have you started a countdown to the move? Re: the mold in your previous blog: what a terrible thing to happen to such a beautiful place! Hope your new landlord is better than this one.

  2. I am sure the 'new location' will have its rewards/processions…..maybe in a smaller scale.
    Interesting how much goes into these processions…the practice, timing, cuing….and not to mention the strength needed!! I'm tired just watching and imagining!!

    1. Jim:
      Last Semana Santa I saw many guys come out from under the floats after their shifts with shoulders and necks rubbed raw from the wood poles. And to think they volunteer for this!

  3. When I was growing up in NYC, there were processions like this in Little Italy, with multi-tiered floats carried the same way. I'm not sure it happens any more — Little Italy is just about gone now.

    1. Will:
      I used to go to the San Gennaro Festival almost every year in NYC. I haven't been since around '76, but it's still going on. The only reason I went, though, was for the cannoli and zeppole. I barely noticed the floats! (And, jeez, I haven't had a zeppole since then!)

  4. I posted about you and Odd Essay today. I was really tickled to see that you guys had connected so soon! I went on Google images to get representative pictures to use of the ornate religious floats. There was nothing anywhere near as good as the photos you have posted! I went with the best one I could find.

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