Last year we didn’t do anything for Easter. The year prior we had family over to stay, so we took them to see the parade. This year we went over to La Linea, not just to see the parade, but also to catch up with some friends there.
Easter for the religious Christian folk of Spain is huge deal. Actually scratch that, this year it seemed a huge deal in different ways for a lot of people. This year the parade seemed even bigger and I really felt as though there were thousands more people, most of whom were there to watch the parade, to be involved in this big occasion. There were some there, like us, just to watch this impressive spectacle, and then there were the drunk people. Tsk tsk.
The floats themselves are impressive works of art, I finally got that the people carrying them aren’t swaying under the weight, but executing a ‘dance’ of sorts. They move in time to the band’s music, and the bands are amazing. Watching the drummer, I was somewhat slack-jawed, and mocked by my friends for gawping, but seriously, how fast do they drum? I sort of wish I had videoed that part. But yet again the most striking image of the night for me is those hoods. The more I think of them, the more they freak me out. I don’t like full on hide-your-face-masks, and my first association of the hoods is bloody KKK. I know, I know that the horrible KKK stole the imagery, but still I can’t seem to get past that idea when I look at them.
I didn’t take my camera, although I spotted so many people with cameras this time around, but I did have my phone so I got a few snaps.
One thing that really did catch my eye was the sheer volume of people. Was it because the streets were far more packed than our last visit, or is it just my prudish English mindset, but you don’t shove your way into the path of a moving procession? Seriously people were pretty much knocking the band and float carriers out of the way, in their eagerness to get to the next stop on the parade route. After the main part of the parade had reached the church square, we tried to make our way back to Gibraltar. It was virtually impossible. We tried small back streets, but we found ourselves hemmed in by people who were waiting for the floats to come by. It was actually quite nightmarish, these huge floats looming over you, depicting a young man being tortured and killed, his grieving mother, flickering candles, loud music, all these people crushed together. I wont lie I was seriously relieved to get to the border. And yet again, even in the narrow side streets people were just walking out in front of the floats and marching bands. Is this normal? I have no desire to get squashed by a float, they look very heavy! Also the question of the evening was, why are some of the pointy hats floppy? Does anyone know? They certainly look like the same hat, just some are up and some aren’t, is it because of the logistics of carrying a float with the hat on?