Easter Sunday. Domingo de Resurección. Holy Week is over and the Church is rejoicing for Christ has risen! This makes for a very joyful procession on Easter morn! ;o)
I've only seen an Easter Sunday procession once before, when I was visiting a friend in a small town in Murcia about a decade ago, and it was something else! Very festive, big happy crowds, dancing thrones... (yes, the throne bearers made them dance!!! must have been exhausting) Quite a contrast from the sombre processions during the Semana Santa. I didn't expect it to be quite as much fun here in Alicante (small towns are always better than cities for these holidays!) when I went downtown last year, and I was both right and wrong! The public were more onlookers than active participants, but those participating made sure it was a grand and joyous event! In any case, everyone was smiling (and cheering), which is always nice to see!
In Alicante only two figures participate in the procession for Domingo de Resurrección: Christ and the Virgin Mary. Each of them leaves from a different church (Christ from the Cathedral, the Virgin from the Iglesia de Santa María) and it is timed so they meet up in front of the Ayuntamiento at 12 noon and then head out together from there.
I made it down to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento with plenty of time to spare, and still only got a spot in the second row behind the barriers! Little by little the Plaza started filling up. Just in front of the Ayuntamiento doors representatives of different Hermandades started gathering (they all participate together on Easter Sunday).
On either side of them were "regular" people who obviously knew they had to show up bright and early to get the best viewing spot. This one lady even brought a special friend with her! ;o)
As it got closer to noon I could just feel the crowd growing behind me... a quick shot with the camera looking backwards:
packed to the brim!
The meeting was set for 12 noon, but of course the two separate processions had to leave from their respective churches earlier to make it on time! No idea what route they took from the Cathedral, but the Iglesia de Santa Maria is just a couple of blocks away from the Ayuntamiento, and up a flight of steps. So by craning my neck (or lifting my camera above the heads) I could make out some of what was happening with the Virgin's part of the procession! We could hear the cheers as she was brought out of the church after mass, and then watched as her costaleros very carefully carried her down the steps onto the street below... (click for a bigger view)
They brought her a bit closer to us and then stopped, as if waiting for something. Or someone... out of an archway came the figure of Cristo Resucitado!
I was surprised to see his costaleros backing him into the Plaza del Ayuntamiento...
and noticing that he was being carried by costaleros from many different Hermandades!
Men and women alike.
Once he was settled into position, with the skies raining Aleluyas,
it was the Virgin's turn to approach the Plaza.
A well deserved rest for her costaleros...
and then the joyous reunion of mother and son!
Check this out:
Up and down and up and down, forwards and backwards, dancing away! :o)
And because still images don't quite capture the feel of all this, here's a video I pieced together from clips I took. It's not the best of quality because a- cellphone camera (albeit a pretty decent one) and b- I was holding the cellphone and shooting video with my left hand while in my right hand I had my DSLR and was taking all the pictures you see here! Anyhow, enjoy! :o)
After the celebrations, time to head out. The Virgin taking the lead, followed by these beautiful "damas de mantilla" all in white... turns out they're all Belleas from the various Hogueras around town!
and then He follows.
I ran and caught up with the procession again at the middle of the Explanada.
Drummers and pipers in the lead,
the "damas de mantilla",
Probably one of their final acts as Belleas since the elections for the new ones (2011) took place not long after.
I can't believe I finally got a great picture of these two! After glimpses here and there during the fiestas, this shot's worthy of the press! :o)
The Virgin is brought forward
check out her flowery train!
Behind come more members of various Hermandades,
including some very young ones who are busy handing out candy to the rest of the kids!
away they go...