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Easter parade 'pointy hats': What are they all about?
03 April 2021 @ 22:30

IF YOU'VE lived in Spain since at least the beginning of 2019, you'll probably have seen an Easter week parade before; hopefully, if you're a regular visitor to Spain, you'll have managed to plan at least one trip here in time to see the Good Friday marches. And if neither is the case, it's about time you did – although any attempt to do so last year or this would have been frustrated as all processions have been called off for the second Easter running as a precaution against Covid contagion.

So here's to Easter 2022 and normality returning.

Actually, it is getting that way in many parts of Spain. Some regions where even the smallest of villages had dozens, or in fact, hundreds, of cases each at the beginning of the year are now practically Covid-free, with only a handful of towns reporting numbers in single figures. One of these is the Mediterranean region of the Comunidad Valenciana, where the vast majority of its 500-plus towns and villages are now reporting no cases at all, and a smattering of bigger towns only reporting between one and 15 at the most. The idea of each region's borders being shut, bar opening times restricted, and a curfew of anywhere from 22.00 to midnight imposed, is to stop this excellent progress being ruined by everyone, understandably, wanting to let rip over the long holiday weekend. But we're now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, and the day will soon come when 'confinement' is an old-fashioned word for childbirth, 'mask' is about fancy dress or a substance you spread on your hair and face to give you silky locks and smooth skin, and 'social distancing' means taking a break from Facebook.

Anyway – if you're already champing at the bit to watch a Good Friday parade in Spain – or watch another one if, like the rest of us, you feel you've forgotten what they look like – now might be a good time to learn a bit more about them so you're clued up and get the best out of it when you're finally seated by the roadside listening to the haunting, rhythmic drum-beats.

The main parade, and in most towns, the only one of two, at Easter is on Good Friday and, unlike most Spanish fiestas where the actual saint or religious occasion they are based on takes a back seat or never features at all except in the name on the events programme, Easter is pretty much 99% linked to the original crucifixion story.

But if you're an atheist, believe in 'something' but don't follow any religion, or your religion is not one of the forms of Christianity, this doesn't mean you should feel left out or that none of it applies to you: The biblical legend involves a series of morals and metaphors, and as a story it's replete with tragedy and joy, and the parades that re-enact it are highly emotional, whatever your faith, or even if you have none at all.

To find out more, about how Spain celebrates in a non-Covid year, and the background to the story if you've never read the Christian bible, take a look at our article here (it's got Antonio Banderas in it, too. Read it through and find out why).

Food is at least as important at Easter in Spain as it is at any other time of the year, especially monas de Pascua (cakes covered in hundreds-and-thousands, with an optional chocolate coating) on the Mediterranean and torrijas (sweet, milky, eggy 'French' toast covered in icing sugar) in Madrid and many inland locations. If you want to mark Easter somehow and feel the loss of the parades has just turned it into four days off work with little to show for it, why not get cooking? Last year, during lockdown, some of the top chefs based in Valencia shared their 'secret' Easter recipes with us. They're not so secret now, and thanks to us at thinkSPAIN, they're also out there in English. Supermarkets are mostly open tomorrow (Saturday) if you're short of any of the ingredients.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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