Friday, September 9, 2011

The event: Día de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria

So, this patron saint has gotten herself some party! Every year, 8th September they celebrate her, and wow do they celebrate her! I’m used to the Lutheran church of Norway and to be honest, there’s not much fuss and action. I’m not used to catholic customs, and this definitely made an impression.

In 1876 she was officially declared patron saint of Málaga. Every year, on this date, the sculpture of her is brought from the church Basilica y Real Santuario de Santa Maria de la Victoria (Puh long name!) to the cathedral in Málaga where a mass is being held in her honour. Then, she gets taken out on a procession in the city streets back to the church where she’s normally kept. (The one with the long name!)

But it was this procession that made an impression on me. Guess I need to say that I have never in my life seen a procession, so I am not one to say if this one was particularly impressive or fantastic but as a first-time-experience it was so ceremoniously, so different and so pretty. 

The sculpture (or whatever I should call it) and her "throne" are enormous! And are being carried on the shoulders of a total of 220 men in black, in several rows, many of them blindfolded, to a wind-band playing dramatic music, while progressing slowly but certainly through the crowded streets of the city. 

Thousands of people were attending the show and it was clear that this was a big deal to the city.

People waiting outside the Cathedral
It has started!

The big Santa Maria up there in her tallness with the music and the solemn faces of the men in black made it very ceremonial and special.


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