Sunday, April 1, 2012

Domingo de Ramos / Palm Sunday

Preparing the young man representing Jesus
for the procession of the palms up to the
cathedral, making the start of Semana Santo.
Many of the vendors in the mercado today were selling
ornately woven palm fronds for this event. This lady was
studying the design while waiting for the procession to go.
I was up early, went to market, had breakfast and put on freshly washed and ironed clothes to watch and record the procession of palms from the old entrance into Barichara (near the old bridge) up to the cathedral. My new casa is located not far from the old bridge, so I was able to get there on time this year. (Last year I was living about 20 minutes away in La Loma and missed the whole thing.)

It was already pretty warm by Santander standards and people were using their palm fronds for head shade while waiting for the procession to begin. Parents, grandparents, darling little boys and girls all scrubbed and polished, done up for the event which marks the beginning of Holy Week also known as Semana Santo. While I was in San Gil on Friday, it was clear that for most of the school children the end of classes for a week mark their beginning to the holiday and they were celebrating with the joy that only those who are sitting in classrooms in uniform and then are liberated can feel.

The procession is approaching the cathedral and I was crouched down in
order to be below the heads of people behind me who were watching on
the street. I am considered very tall by Colombian standards.
For those who live or work along the route
of the procession, it is a common sight to
see floral tributes in windows, beside doors
and even attached to utility poles.
For those families who live here, this marks a time of gathering in, with relatives coming from far away to join in the festivities and celebration as well as the sacred remembering of the events with much Catholic pomp and presentation. It is also a time when there is much drinking, setting off of firecrackers, dancing, and general revelry, often until the very wee hours of the mornings, except Maundy Thursday and Holy Friday when there is no drinking allowed.

This afternoon I will be joining with my local 'family group' to have a luncheon up in the hills outside the village. There is a dance presentation later on and other musical and artistic events all week long so it should be interesting.

My new living arrangements are pure delight for me and for the cats as well. We are close enough to the action to know about it, but not necessarily exposed to the high noise levels of being in proximity to the park and the cathedral. And there are no issues of leaks and such which necessitated the move in the first place.

It is a much smaller house, and although an older one by local standards, it was renovated with new baths, updated electrical system and is generally more agreeable. Back with more photos later today, I expect.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Sandy! How I would love to experience something like that. Marvelous! Glad that you made it on time!!