Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Semana Santa: Domingo de Ramos in Alicante 2011

So, in yesterday's post I mentioned that we came across a surprise on our way home to Alicante from the Palm Sunday procession in Elche... As we were crossing town along the harbour, I noticed a lot of people on Alicante's main paseo, the Explanada. There was marching band music in the air... and the Palm Sunday procession still going on!!! Apparently we made it into town just as the procession was reaching its end. So I pretty much told my dad to go park the car in the harbour, my mom and I hopped out at a red light, and I hobbled over like crazy (bum knee? who cares!) to get some pictures and video of it all! :D

As they reached the fountain at the end of the Explanada,

they turned left,

onto the small street that leads to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.

Behind this crowd? The throne with the paso of course!!!

Ahhh... but this one's on wheels! Just needs to be pushed along:

Through the arch it goes,

entering the Plaza del Ayuntamiento

and then comes to a stop in front of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall).

And here to my surprise the marching band struck up the national anthem!

After that everyone disbanded and people got up close and personal with the throne,

at which point my dad caught up with me and caught me in full papparazzi  mode! :p

And here's a tradition I didn't know about: at the end of the procession you can take the flowers off the throne!!!

My dad and I scrambled around and managed to put together this lovely bouquet for my mom, you like?

We then headed back to the Explanada to join her at a café, but I got sidetracked again... the procession wasn't over!!!

Apparently in Alicante they take several thrones out for the Palm Sunday procession! I've done some digging online (all hail google!) and discovered an official website for Alicante's Holy Week processions: Portal de la Semana Santa de Alicante. So I now know that in Alicante the figure of Jesús Triumphante (fondly known as "la burrita" or the donkey) is taken out by its own Hermandad (unlike in Elche where they switch between Hermandades each year click here for 2011, here for 2010) and that it left the Diputación Provincial at 11h30 and followed this path along the main streets in the city until it reached the Explanada and from there went to the Ayuntamiento:

map from http://www.semanasanta-alicante.com/

The other two Hermandades (carrying three and two thrones) all left from the Basílica de Santa María after the Jesuit fathers blessed the Palms and celebrated Mass at 10h45. They weaved their way through the narrow streets of the oldest neighbourhood before coming out at the top of the Rambla where they joined in behind the Hermandad de Jesús Triumphante. I guess someone must be pretty good at timing all this!

map from http://www.semanasanta-alicante.com/

First up are the Hermandad Sacramental de Jesús en Samaria y Santa Oración en el Huerto wearing white linen tunics with violet sashes and cloaks (some blue instead of violet), carrying canes with rosemary in them.

Followed by the Damas de Mantilla (also called Manolas).

Then the representatives of the Hermandad just in front of the throne of Jesús en Samaria (Jesus in Samaria) carried by the costaleros who are all professors, parents or old students from the Jesuit School.

Right behind them is the Santa Oración en el Huerto (holy prayer in the orchard):

From the back you can see the sleeping disciples! ;o)

They're followed by a group of kids from the Jesuit school:

Isn't she a lovely?

Oops! Who's this? :p

you try taking video and photo simultaneously while holding  a bouquet of flowers!

The third throne has the Santísima Virgen de la Paz (Holy Virgin of Peace) carried by high school juniors and seniors also from the Jesuit school:

she's beautiful:

Finally we have the Hermandad Sacramental del Santísimo Cristo de las Penas y Santa Mujer Verónica, with lots of really small nazarenos!

Check out this cutie!

They're also carrying two thrones, the first paso is the Santísimo Cristo de las Penas (Holy Christ of the Sorrows)

Here's my mom's view from the other side:

A group of Damas de Mantilla separates it from the second throne,

on which these hooded costaleros are carrying the Santa Mujer Verónica (the Holy Lady Veronica):

What a gorgeous cloak!

These are all very heavy, so the costaleros need to take frequent breaks.

And of course, another marching band to wrap up the procession:

Here are bits of this second part of the procession all woven together in a short video. My apologies for any wobbling (I was walking forward at times), shutter sounds (taking pics while filming) and a bit of jumpiness at the end (dunno what got into my cellphone!):

coming up: remembering the Procesión de la Santa Cruz in Alicante in 2010, Procesión del Silencio in Callosa del Segura 2009 and Easter Sunday in Alicante 2011.


  1. The hooded people look a bit scary but otherwise it all looks wonderful!

  2. I think the hoods are only scary because on the other side of the Atlantic they have been given a very unpleasant connotation... :s

    I've often wondered why the hoods, and I think it's perhaps (traditionally) to grant anonymity to the penitent... just a thought


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