Essentially, the week is filled with long processions that seem to be going on non-stop. There are over 55 brotherhoods, or hermandades, that participate and represent their church. Las hermandades consist of hundreds of participants. Some dress up in their official robes (los nazarenos) and march in silence; others work in teams to carry these huge floats, or pasos, from their church across the city. These floats are intricately designed, reflecting a scene from the bible, typically including the Virgin Mary. Carrying these floats is a huge honor, and apparently you have to pay to do so since it's such a competitive process. Because there are so many churches participating, a lot of work goes into planning the different routes the pasos will take so that they don't collide or run into each other. Each group leaves from their prospective church, proceeds to La Catedral in the center of town, and returns back to their church. The processions last for hours, rightfully so, and it's quite the task trying to traverse through the city during these times. I can't tell you how many times I tried to get through a street, see a procession going on, turn around, and spend 20 minutes trying to find a different route. I was definitely ready for things to go back to normal half-way through the week!
That being said, the processions were absolutely incredible. Everyone just piles into the streets to try to get a good view of las hermandades marching in the streets (this was always a struggle pushing through the crowds of people to try to even catch a glimpse of what was going on). I don't know how they could carry those huge floats miles and miles across the city, but I give them a lot of credit. Los sevillanos really keep to their traditions, and it was beautiful seeing the floats glide across the cobble-stone streets, now covered in candle wax from the burning candles that would illuminate the way. It's hard to describe the feeling you get when watching these processions, so I have some videos that will do a much better job!
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