Today was very hot and sunny, but I can't resist checking out Good Friday. I went out three different times in my quest to find commemorative events worth photographing, then wound up getting surprise shots when I went out for the fourth time to walk the dogs. This is by way of saying that I took a really good look, including watching all of the Procession of Silence, so I can state sadly and positively that one of the best things was missing this year. Well, you all will see for yourselves.
Here is my first outing, at around noon ~
I swung by the church of Carmen Alto where I usually score with photos of preparations for the procession, but not this year.
Over to the pedestrian street and past Sto. Domingo. Semana Santa is a huge holiday here, as you can see by all the people in the street ~
Sangre de Cristo church is just down the street from Sto. Domingo and is where the procession usually forms. Not yet, though ~
At this point I decide to go home and come back out later. On the way I swing by the bank to get cash. The atm alcove faces the side door of Carmen Bajo church. As I exit, I hear clacking, like many people hitting pieces of wood together. I scamper to the front of the church and see this ~
I don't know about this kid. Did he want the part really badly? Is he just a good actor or is he waaay too into the part?
Encouraged by that procession sighting, I decide to put off going home and to go visit San Felipe Neri church instead, where I got to see all of their procession preparations in 2014. At that time statues were covered for Lent, and the altar obscured by scaffolding and a curtain. Not this time!
The main altar ~
I find it interesting that this is written in Castillian Spanish rather than Mexican Spanish ~
Even after having seen some of the churches of Mexico, I still find them surprising and amazing with each new photo.
I tend to forget that Good Friday is a big deal in certain countries, because here it goes completely unnoticed since it is not a bank holiday (unlike Easter Monday). Actually, yesterday in one of the more conservative areas of the city, I did encounter young people distributing religious tracts exceptionally. Normally the only religious people you see are the increasingly ubiquitous Jehovah's Witnesses (doomsday cults are always popular in times of politicial and social turmoil). And the evening news devoted about 15 seconds to the yearly procession at Sacré Coeur -- they do the stations of the cross in the gardens or some such.
Tomorrow's big event is a funk & techno parade on the Champs Elysées to support 3rd world causes. Jesus would approve.
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2017 21:49:31 GMT by bixaorellana: replace smiley
As far as Good Friday being a big deal, my perception yesterday was that it was somewhat less observed than it has been in previous years.
And re: the parade to support 3rd world causes -- yes! A good example of loving ones neighbor.
Here I go sallying forth for my second foray in search of Good Friday photo-ops depictions of faith ~
I'm back at Sangre de Cristo church, where there is now a little more evidence of procession preparation.
These two snappy dressers are oblivious ~
Don't mind me. I'm just trying to stay cool ~
Setting up some lighting ~
The crosses await their bearers. In a previous report on Good Friday in Oaxaca, someone pointed out that the crosses are hollow. Well, yes they are, but made of heavy plywood, plus they're quite long. I hefted one and it was heavy. And the smaller ones are made of solid 4x4 pine.
Looking northward up Alcalá, there are police barricades in place as far as the eye can see.
They came early so they could get good seats ~
Heading back home again, I meet three litter-bearing groups ~
This is García Vigil, the street parallel to Alcalá, which is also on the procession route. These people are going to have a long wait. I'm going back home & will emerge again later ~
And now I'm leaving my house for the third time on Good Friday, the time that should be the charm in terms of seeing some procession action.
Working my way through the crowds of people, I arrive in front of Sto. Domingo church. Can you imagine if you could send of of these things back through history?!
Trying to get closer to Sangre de Cristo church, I struggle through the sliver of sidewalk left between the people waiting and the building walls. Success! I worm into a spot in front of the first group in the procession ~
Yes indeed, there is more! It's been years since I watched the whole procession and I really think there was less of everything this year, so might as well record it for posterity. Also, this may be my Good Friday swan song, since I've covered it so many years running.
Here come the banners ~
The banners just kept coming -- at least a hundred or more. Here, see for yourself ~
By the way, I added the music in the slideshow above. The procession itself is silent, but there are amplifiers at different points on the street through which can be heard the slow, steady beating of a drum. I say drum, but it was more of a >clonk< as though something made of wood rather than the familiar hollow sound of a drum.
I bask in your incredibly generous praise, Fumobici ~ thank you!
It was great to be reminded of your Anghiari thread, which is just as wonderful as it was 7 1/2+ years ago. It even has a recumbent Jesus that you say is carried through the town on Good Friday. I nominate you to cover Good Friday next year ~ I am sure we and Anghiari will all appreciate it.
I'm just looking at this beautiful thread now, as for some reason I couldn't get all the images to load before (and my computer was recently updated; it has a new hard drive as well). Yes, the images are striking and I loved the lady of a certain age bearing her burden of nails.
I know something is missing, but can't put my finger on it.
To be a bit frivolous, I really want one of those large scarves/shawls girls and women wear. The dark ones are particularly beautiful.
You have a good eye, LaGatta! The girl is wearing the most typical of the Oaxacan rebozos. The woman on the left is wearing what I believe is a rebozo from Santa Santa María del Río in San Luis Potosí. It's said of their finest silk ones that they can be pulled through a wedding ring. The woman on the right has a particularly gorgeous one in damask. It has a slight purplish tint that makes me think it might be an antique.
As for what is missing ~ think hard. File your mind to a point.
I'm a bit spacey these days from working across time zones. I did see both cross nails and the crown of thorns... can't think of anything else pointy, unless you mean those scary dudes in hoods that look like the ones the KKK likes to dress up in.
I certainly hope its not your Good Friday swan song although your pooches may not agree Like Fumobici as always in awe of your photos but loved particularly the vase of beautiful blue agapanthus and lilies. I guess that someone got some great views via that drone even though I despise the intrusive little things.
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2017 21:58:37 GMT by bixaorellana: replace smiley
Ha ha ~ the sweet kitty is innocent and pragmatic. I now realize that instead of "Bingo!" I should have said "Nailed it!"
Too kind, Lugg! I'll probably be tempted out next year just to see what I can see. Maybe somebody on your side of the Atlantic will zip off to Spain to record it there, or Fumobici will deliver the goods on Italy.
bixa, maybe those were not accusing glances from your dogs. Maybe they were sympathetic looks, seeing how you sacrifice yourself for anyport.
Not only are the agapanthus and calla lilies gorgeous, so is the pitcher they are in.
If those are real roses on the litters, what luxury to have so many. Wonderful colors throughout this thread; thank you, bixa; thank you, Mexico.
In lots of the photos, some people walking alongside the litters are carrying a stick with two prongs on the top. In the second photo in #9 you can see two guys carrying one. Would they be to re-position the statue if needed?
It never ceases to amaze me to the extent and commitment to faith the citizens of Oaxaca exhibit.
I noticed the different types of red flowers, is this traditional, seasonal or biblical? I am not a Catholic but do recognize purple being used during Lent here.
Your photographs are stunning Bixa, in fact there a three that I would love to frame, #1, #2 and #6. I have been searching for artwork for months for my living room, without success so far, but those three photos are what I am looking for!
That green ware (the pitcher) is very common and typical of Oaxaca. One of the most common uses for that kind of pitcher is making hot chocolate. When the wooden frother is used, the shape of the pitcher keeps the foam and chocolate from flying all over the place.
If you love cut flowers, you would go crazy here. I can walk over to my local market and pick up a dozen roses for around $2usd or less.
I noticed the sticks with prongs, too. You're right that they are used for picking up and positioning the litter with the statue, but I don't think I ever saw so many marchers carrying them before. It's a good idea, though -- others can step in to help before the bearers collapse.
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Mich, I am hugely flattered by your lovely compliment!
You are correct about purple being the color for Lent. However the color scheme for the flowers varies from year to year, so that must be an aesthetic choice rather than an ecclesiastical one.
You are right about the dramatic expressions of faith, but I would swear there were fewer participants this year. In fact, I went back through my older Good Friday threads and yes, more people in the processions before.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Apr 24, 2017 19:42:52 GMT
Stunning images Bixa, I am fascinated by the deep connection the people of Oaxaca appear to have with their faith in that it seems to form an intrinsic part of their culture. Love the banners and the flowers are glorious.
Amazing photos Bixa. I've gotta tell you that any of these visuals would send the populous into a frenzy over here. Nothing like this extravaganza has ever been seen. The effigies of Christ in different poses would spook the majority into a frenzy. There are not as many Roman Catholics as is past years but even then, none have them have seen anything as extreme as this. It is even more apparent that this form of Catholicism is not practiced here. Do you think that certain people in positions of authority have over the many decades in Mexico , put their spin on things to what is portrayed in public?
One thing I know is that if children here were to see all the 'gory' details of those statues it would disturb them.
This is not meant as any criticism on the Catholic religion per say but merely an observance of the differences between the Easter celebrated in different places. I doubt if this would be allowed to take place in a city in South Africa. It seems to me the different churches have selected a venue to which all the faithful must travel.