Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tales of droppings

I fell asleep in front of the Semana Santa TV broadcast l
ast night and woke up at three thirty to retire to bed. It was nearly ten by the time we were all up and eating breakfast. I had a rendezvous at the office at eleven to pick up a cheque and then go and cash it at the bank. On the way back I noticed that the Casa Hermanidad of the local Parish cofradia was open to the public to view its treasures, and returned on foot to visit and take photos.
You can see the rest of them here It was great to see children there welcoming visitors as well as adults. These are real community places.

By midday we were all re-united for an hour on the beach in Los Boliches. Then I drove everyone up to Mijas for lunch at Pepe Mauros restaurant where I took Eddie and Ann a couple of weeks ago, and had a great meal together. A brief introductory tour of the main sights and shops of Mijas followed, then we drove back down the hill to Los Boliches RENFE station, so that I could take the train into Malage for the Tuesday evening Semana Santa processions. This time I positioned myself at the other end of the Alameda Principal, where processions turn into Larios, the main shopping street. I wonder if this central retailing thoroughfare does any business at all during Semana Santa.

What caught my attention this evening was the activity of children, not in the processions themselves (and there are many hundreds of children participating), but out with parents and grandparents occupying a hired seat in one of the stands. They play around, for the most part unhindered. I noticed that several had what looked like a multi coloured lollypop on a stick. It looked as if it would taste horrible. After I while I realised that I was correct in this because what was on the stick being carried by the children was a ball of candle wax, which each had acquired by collecting the drips from candles being burned by passing Nazarenos.
There was an element of competition to see who could grow the largest ball of wax. I observed small children moving through the processions entreating candle bearers to drip some wax for them. I observed that the children dressed up as Nazarenos (of whom there are many), who were most willing to join in the game and tip their candles.

As soon as dark descended, the temperature dropped so I headed for the train, and benefited from the extra services scheduled for Holy Week. I was back in the house by ten to eleven with another ninety photos to look at and upload. Not only that, there's such a lot to think about - so many people making so much effort to pull together in a public act of witness. The Police and the Fire Service (Los Bomberos) turned out their leaders in full dress uniform, half a dozen of them were riding magnificent horses. They were followed by a Council workman in his Cleansing Department fatigues with a bright new green brush and a red bin, there to collect up the horse droppings, and marching proudly to do so. Talking of which, in the afternoon up in Mijas I noticed that donkeys and horses wear canvas bags over their tails and rear ends to catch any droppings and keep the streets clean. An interesting contrast.

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