by Lucy Cole
|Alhambra Palace, Granada (source: tqn.com)|
It is in this city, with its labyrinth of streets, rich culture and of course incredible historic architecture, that I chose to pass two precious weeks of my Easter holiday in a language school, attempting to improve my mediocre Spanish into the beautiful and flowing language I have so often heard on my travels to Spain. Whilst I fear it is unlikely that I will achieve this, so far my time here has been invaluable. Last week, while the children of England sat at home in anticipation of the mountain of chocolate they hoped to receive on Easter Sunday, here the week of Christ’s death and resurrection were celebrated in a distinctly different way! La Semana Santa, or ‘Holy Week’, would seem an unimaginable occurrence in England; as thousands of people line the streets of Granada every day, they delight and mourn in the events that take place. Each procession is representative of the events leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection and every one is unique, characterised by its costumes and statues, undeniably stunning in its tradition and its simple significance. I was struck by the incredible unity of all those who gathered to watch, present either for their faith, to enjoy the beauty of the procession (especially at night), or even just to revel in the tradition of their city and their ancestors. Living in a country where arguably the last thing that truly brought the British people together was the Royal Wedding, this ancient tradition fascinated me. There is something incredible about the ability of one thing to include and bring together a whole country for a week every single year (although I do believe perhaps that England’s failure to take to the streets in celebration may have something to do with our ever unpredictable weather, something over which the Spanish have an unfair advantage!)
However, although it was a dominant feature in the last week to say the least, La Semana Santa is not the only Spanish culture that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
|Picture by Lucy Cole|
|Picture by Lucy Cole|
With only a couple of days left of my time in Granada, I plan to make the most of it and savour as much as I can of the culture that clothes the city before I leave. It really is one of the most incredible cities in the world, and if you haven’t yet had the fortune of experiencing it then make sure you plan to do so. I promise you that it will be worth it.
|by Lucy Cole|