From Ron ...

Three years ago at about this time, Christina and I had joined some family members for holiday time in Sevilla, Spain. There, we observed preparations for Holy Week celebrations which were unlike anything in our experience.

Semana Santa (Holy Week) is an epic event in Spain with unrivalled pageantry and emotion. While there is no shortage of festivals celebrating almost everything throughout Spain, Sevilla is renowned for having the most elaborate Semana Santa experiences.
Enormous, elaborately carved and painted religious statues and carvings become 'floats' which are borne by scores, if not hundreds, of young men through the crowd-lined narrow streets to churches each night. While Semana Santa is considered a solemn observance by Spain’s usual festival standards, there is still a sense of joy and excitement which would rival the hometown return of a victorious Stanley Cup team.
We were able to observe midnight practice runs from our window as teams rehearsed how to navigate sharp corners with precarious stand-ins for the huge ornate statues they would ultimately carry. Heavily weighted objects of any kind (including, in one case, a small car!) were piled on huge flat wooden beds to simulate the precious cargo which would eventually be transported by many straining shoulders.
We’re told that Sevilla is nearly totally engaged during Semana Santa with this week of events which all build to the climax of Easter Sunday. Even at the height of the pandemic in Spain, creative digital alternatives were designed when the in-person parades could not occur so that it was still possible to demonstrate this unique display of faith. It occurred to me that the people of Spain and of Ukraine share at least a bit of commonality. Even during the darkest time, the human spirit finds resolve to 'be' together, to share solidarity, and yes, even to find cause for celebration.
Music Suggestions for Holy Week & Easter 2022
▶️ Indicates video accompaniment version available. See "Accompaniment Videos" section below.
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