May 23, 2019
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Break in the rain allows Easter processions to weave through Spain's streets

By Antonia Méndez Ardila

Madrid, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Spain's traditional Holy Week processions may have gotten off to a soggy start but Seville's renowned "Madruga" was able to weave its way through the southern city early on Friday.

The unfortunate weather has led to parades being delayed or canceled altogether, as well as dampened the number of people coming out into the streets to watch the religious spectacles.

This was evident in Seville on the morning of Good Friday when the Andalusian capital's six most well-known fraternities were able to make their way along their routes without being hindered by any overly-large crowds.

After Thursday's intense rainfall, the Macarena, the Esperanza de Triana, the Great Power and the Gypsies were able to file out into the streets of Seville, albeit amid tight security measures as is usual for such populous events.

Besides the risk of rain and concerns over crowd control, there was fear over possible attacks following the arrest in Morocco of a suspected jihadist who lives in Seville and who was allegedly planning to strike the Spanish city's Easter festivities.

Seville's city council told Efe the day had been a "success" and was one of the quietest in recent years, with some 12,000 Nazarenes and tens of thousands of onlookers.

But the central city of Cuenca did not get away with it as rain forced one of the country's most original processions from going ahead. Some 2,400 people had been expecting to turn out for it.

Thousands did however manage to hear the sound of drums in the eastern town of Calanda for a Holy Week tradition that recounts the death of Jesus Christ.

A break in the rain also allowed another stalwart of Spain's "Semana Santa" to take place in the northern town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, whereby participants flagellate their own backs in a practice that draws blood.

The east coast was expecting further rainfall and windy conditions on Friday, according to national weather service Aemet.

Holy Week in Spain is marked by Catholic processions and visits to the seaside or tourist sites, but this year the period also has a political element with election rallies taking place ahead of the poll on Apr. 28. EFE-EPA


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