Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Viernes de Dolores (Good Friday) is the top procession day. All three mayor downtown processions come out at the same time plus all suburb ones as well.

The three main traditional ones are from the churches of  La Recolección, Santo Domingo and El Calvario. They all start at 3.30 and enter after midnight. This is the traditional time to "go chase processions" since you can park somewhere and literally chase them around zone 1 asking the many cucuruchos 'Por donde anda la procesión?'  (Where is the procession going?).

We started our 'procession chasing' at 1 avenue and 3rd street Zone 1, there we saw the procession of El Calvario. This particular float is the longest one in the world, with 70 men bearing on each side for a total length of 27 meters (88 feet). 

First come the 14 Stations of the Cross, each on a cart on wheels, pushe by cucuruchos wearing cone shaped hat/masks.

The image of "La Consagrada imágen del Cristo Yacente de el Calvario" is attributed to  Pedro Mendoza mid XVII century.

The size of the float never ceases to amaze me. It seems like it is a quarter of a block long!
The Virgen de la Soledad (of the solitude) comes after as I explained in a previous post, the difference between the Virgen Dolorosa and de Soledad is the position of her hands. The "Dolorosas" come with Jesus carrying the croos, the "Soledades" come with Jesus Sepultado.

When I wrote the post of Jesus Nazareno de Candelaria I thought the women's float was probably the longest one, well I stand corrected, that one had 80 bearers and this one 90!

Downtown then transforms into a safe place, not the 'never go to place' so we walked very carefree at 9.00 at night almost one kilometer east to wait for the next procession. We didn´t mean to walk that long except that we missed the procession for 15 minutes and then decided to walk further to wait for it while it turned around. That is were we went and sat and saw the process of the rug being made.

The procession of El Señor Sepultado de Santo Domingo opens with too men bringing the symbols of the passion, the rooster that cried after St. Peter had denied knowin Jesus, the nails of the cross, the sword that pucture his chest, etc.
The comes small floats on wheels representing the associations of different professions such as tailors, carpenters, welders, etc. I took the picture to the one of the tailors since my grandpa Guerra was one.

Following are the stations of the cross. In the picture the second station according to the spiritual way of the cross: Jesus is betrayed by Judas.

Accompanying the procession  are priests and  of the hundreds of devoted cucuruchos walk along, so usually part of the entertainment is saying hi to people you know that are in the lines. Such was the case this time that we said hi to Padre Hugo Quintanilla a great friend and the priest who baptized Megan.

The procession of Santo Domingo has followed the tradition of having Jesus in it glass urn and dressed in its gold emborided robe.
"La Consagrada Imagén del Señor Sepultado de Santo Domingo" also know as Christ of Love has not been attributed to any sculptor neither has its date of whittling.

Following, as it always is, The Virgen de la Soledad, on Good Friday always dressed in black the same as all the women bearing it.

We still had one more procession to see but no energy left to walk so we called my dad, who is not that much into crowds, to come pick us up and drive us to see the final one and my favorite.


Why I favorite it is somewhat trivial:  I love the robes worn by the Brotherhood (named also the crusaders), I always find the art of the floats magnificent, they have a women´s percussion band  and perhaps the main reason is that they were the first ones to have the image of Jesus out of the glass urn, which of course caused a lot of talk (not all good) and now, as you will see, they are the only ones that bring Jesus only wrapped in a white cloth. This procession just elevates my spiritual awareness.

The turns bore by the men in their white capes and the cadent back and forth on a deep, sad note played by the band elevates introspective and contemplative mood of the procession.

The "Venerada Imagén del Señor Sepultado de la Recolección" is believed to have been chiseled in the mid XVIII century.

Again, following Jesus comes Mary. The cortege is opened by the standards of the 7 sorrows of Mary, represented as daggers in her heart.

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