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Easter in Seville is a mixture of tradition and religion which was born in ancient times. A tradition with foundations in Roman polytheism, in which the believers would organize processions of their gods carried on platforms. The tradition was taken on by the first Christians who imitated it but adapting it to monotheism, which lay dormant but strong for five centuries of Islamic domination in the city and which was used in the winning back of the city by the Christian kings in order to strengthen religious union throughout the peninsula.

This phenomenon, which takes place today, was born out of the necessity of the Church to spread the passion of Christ to some 17th century believers who could not read, and so this offered them the possibility of presenting the biblical passages. Nowadays Easter in Seville is both a demonstration of religion and a show. Christians can experience intense spiritual emotions and non-believers can admire the works of art created from the 16th century through to today, with the earliest conserving the character for which they were created. These images are accompanied by the Nazarenes (followers of Jesus of Nazareth), who have their faces covered because it is a duty of penance which must be carried out in secret and should not be publicly seen. The Pasos on which these images are placed are carried by the so-called costaleros”, who carry a weight on their backs, and have to prepare all year to do so.

For secular people it is an experience which is often hard to understand, but it is nonetheless amazing and is sure to astonish. If you have the opportunity do not let it pass you by.

 

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