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Avoiding my homework

Easter is big in Cartagena. During Holy Week the brotherhoods, generally dressed in the tall Klu Klux Klan type hats, parade with military precision through the streets, often in the dead of night, to muffled drum beats whilst carrying huge carved religious statues on their backs.

My language exchange pal, Carlos, told me a story about how one of the statues, Saint Peter, was maintained by the Navy. In order to pay for the upkeep of the float, for the costumes and other paraphernalia he is employed by the Navy and receives a salary. At Easter he gets his only shore leave of the year. An admiral sends him on his way with strict instructions to be back by midnight. But Saint Peter doesn't do as he's told and when he gets back to barracks he's drunk - he sways from side to side and he gets locked in the brig till next Easter for his disobedience.

It sounded like a strange story and one at odds with what I understood to be the sobriety of the events with floats called "the Agony" and groups called "The Crown of Thorns" or "The Sainted Christ of Flagellation" So I went in search of information on the Internet and, unfortunately I found it. Cut and paste produced sixteen pages of close typed Spanish text loaded with religious terms and strange words to describe the various traditions, costumes and gear of the processions.

I started to read it but I spent so much time flicking back and forth between the descriptions of the various groups, the glossary of terms and the make-up of the processions that it seemed easier to avoid my homework and come and type a blog entry in a language I'm more comfortable with!


  1. Did you know the first procession in Spain easter is from Cartagena. Next Friday at four o´clock in the morning?
    If you need a guide I´m a expert in our easter...

  2. Thanks for the offer. I was quite tempted but my wife prefers unaided exploration.


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