Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feast of Corpus Christi

In 1317, Pope John XXII ordered that the Body of Christ should be part of a solemn, public procession and thus began the feast of Corpus Christi. The feast day was first observed in Spain sometime during the 14th century and in Sevilla, is second only to Easter as a public celebration. In observance of the city holiday, the University of Sevilla was closed and our engineering classes were cancelled for the day. Instead, many of the students were out to experience the Corpus Christi feast.

More Corpus Christi photos...

The feast includes a mass at the cathedral and a procession through the streets of old Sevilla. The crowds were huge with seating and standing along the curbs and sidewalks. The street for the parade route is covered with rosemary which can be seen in the photograph below. The fragrance was pervasive and very nice.

People of all ages participated in the procession and everyone was dressed in their "Sunday best." The procession lasted for more than 3 hours and it seemed that there had to be at least 2000-3000 participants.

Virtually all of the procession participants carried either ornate, decorated staffs or long, burning candles. These young marchers were preoccupied with their candles.

As the younger marchers went by, this young man held out his ball of wax for them to drip their candles onto. It was growing rapidly.

The main attractions for the procession were nine pasos which were tributes to the Christ child, the Virgin Mary and other saints. They were carried on the shoulders of 15-16 walkers beneath the floats. It is a huge privilege to be selected to be part of the team that carries a paso.

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