Sunday, 23 March 2008

Good Friday in Zaragoza

I am a plan addict while my wife is prepared to follow caprices. Yesterday evening, we were on our way home from a mini-vacation up in the Basque Country (País Basc) and my intention was to get us to Vilanova’s small neighbour town Cubelles in time for their Good Friday procession (processó de Divendres Sant) starting at 22.00. I cannot claim that my wife was particularly excited about the idea, but here Easter is not celebrated in such spectacular ways as in other parts of Spain, so this was one of the few alternatives there were.

Or that was until the radio reminded us about the procession in Zaragoza (Saragossa) and I realized that we were only half an hour away from there. I did not need to persuade my wife – we needed a stop. For our children it meant that they could have a proper dinner instead of a snack along the road and for her it was a chance to get a first glimpse of a city where she had not been yet.

For those who want to see it all, the Good Friday procession of Zaragoza lasts for six hours – all in all there are 24 confréries taking part. Our family, however, lasted less than half an hour. Our boys are still very small and for the two-year-old, the constant and heavy drumming and what he called the witches – the participants with their covered faces and cylindrical hats (capirotes in Spanish) - were quite scary.

We did not have time for sight-seeing, but will come back, possibly already during the summer and Expo Zaragoza 2008. A word of advice for anyone who plans to go within shortly, is to look out for temporary road signs. Our new GPS (a tomtom) had a tough challenge with all the detours – those of the procession on top of those which are there due to the Expo - so we were struggling to find our way through the construction works at the entries and exits of the city.

I am convinced that the procession of Zaragoza was bigger and more exciting than any of the Catalan Good Friday traditions, so I am happy to have been “crazy” enough to change my plans. But I would not promise that it will happen again.


Daniel García Peris said...

Hi Erik,

Please visit to pick up the prize that you have received for your work in this blog.

Erik Wirdheim said...

Hi Daniel,

Thanks a million times for nominating me for this prize and even more for the praise on your blog.

Unfortunately I have to inform you that I will not accept it. The intention is good, but the set-up is still that of a chain-letter or a pyramid and I, as a rule, never join such things.

Thanks in advance for your understanding.