The whole Easter celebration in Garachico started on a Sunday, fifth of March and ended on a Sunday, the sixteenth of April. Six whole weeks of events, church services and processions. We really had no idea that we would end up participating in and/or celebrating many days and nights of processions and social gatherings with the locals. It was the most unexpected and an absolute highlight of our stay here. The first inkling of what was to come was while relaxing on the balcony under a beautiful starry night sky, were the church bells tolling in a monotone bing-bing. Not long afterwards we heard what sounded like a choir singing in our street. Oh-oh! Was there a slurpy too many of local white wine, you know, Cherubim Seraphim chants and harps, or what was going on? We took a look and saw a lovely black adorned statue of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by beautiful lights and flowers (reflex sign of the cross, forgot glass in hand) accompanied by a priest (see you in the box tomorrow), altar boys and the local community. The priest read a few petitions, all praised and prayed, and the singing continued. Also on the balcony. False-shitto. The next day we found the full programme of the Semana Santa displayed at the town square. Whoa! This was going to be good!
Here are some photos and impressions of the most important celebrations of the Easter Week. Processions were mainly between the Parish of Santa Ana, and the Church of the Immaculate Conception, passing through the Plaza de la Libertad (the main square) and sometimes going to the Plaza de Santo Domingo.
Palm Sunday (celebrar la Entrada de Jesús en Jerusalén)
The Last Supper/Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo en la Cena del Señor)
It was quite a serious moment when the procession left the Santa Ana church. So serious that a barking dog on someone’s balcony was shushed by all and sundry. Woof-woof-SHHHH! It was also a full moon night. Notice that Judas is the only one without a halo…
Good Friday (Viernes Santo en la Pasión del Señor)
Processions on this day were long. Day and night. The one during the day was four hours long, with the Stations of the Cross walk and the Crucification. The first part leaving the Santa Ana Church was the Carrying of the Cross. This was a very sombre and quiet procession. No music. No drums. No church bells. Just quiet reflection and prayers. Fourteen barefooted congregants each held a cross that they placed at each of the fourteen stations along the way, the last cross at Plaza de Santo Domingo, the symbolic hill on “Calvary”. We all gathered to listen to a very emotional sermon and to pray. Then the Hanging on the Cross statue was carried out of the church and brought to the front of the procession for the long walk back to Santa Ana.
In the evening the procession started from Santa Ana after a church service commemorating the seven last words from the cross…
Burial processions. A group of uniformed men, probably a guard of honour, carried the cross through the main square and then took it away. Later the body, covered in beautiful shimmering cloths with candles around it, was carried back to Santa Ana.
Easter Saturday (Sábado Santo Vigilia Pascual en la Noche Santa)
It was going to be a very late in the evening procession, including an all night vigil, so we chose to skip it. We. Were. Tired. The bed was calling. Around ten-ish we answered the call. One of us has a pillow problem. After tossing and turning, a perfect position was found and then both fell into a deep deep slumber. Zzzz. Miracles do happen hee-hee. Then it happened. One of us was thrown out of bed. Thrown. Out. Of. Bed. Launched. So this is it. The volcano is erupting! Staggering to the balcony and wondering why the hairy one is not panicking, or screaming or showing any kind of reaction for that matter (checked out or what?), it took a lot of courage not to scream. Boom! Boom! Another deafening boom! Smoke. O. Mg. Oxygen. Magnesium. This is the end! Then the realisation. Glitter in the sky. Fireworks. Oh. But seriously, when someone is paranoid about the volcano erupting, then maybe ringing the church bells and setting off fireworks at 00h54 is not a good idea. Oh, okay, so we should have known, but still…Yep, living across from the church has its advantages heh-heh…And the hairy one??? He thought it was funny…yep…
Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua de la Resurrección del Señor)
The day of the resurrection and solemn procession of the Sacrament.
Second Sunday of Easter (II Domingo de Pascua o de la Divina Misericordia)
Procession from Santa Ana of the Resurrected to meet the Virgin of Glory. At the same time a procession from the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin of Glory to meet the Resurrected. The two processions then met, facing each other, and all of us gathered around for prayers and singing. Then both proceeded to the town square and back to Santa Ana. A wonderful and amazing end of Easter 2023.
Here are some of the main players of Garachico, plus a very elegant lady and her beautiful sandals. She was at all the processions too. These photos were taken with their permission and they happily agreed for us to post it on our blog. The band was amazing. Young, old, and in-between, all marching and playing music to suit the mood of every single procession. The last day they did an honour march to a resounding applause from all of us. Thank you. Gracias! The beautiful ladies in traditional Spanish attire are locals (not widows as some thought) and are specially selected to accompany all the processions. They exuded such elegance and walked with pride alongside the statues each and every day. There were some men in the group too. All were magnificent, awesome and tremendous. And friendly. Very friendly. Muchas Gracias!
The Museum – all the statues are kept in here.