UNDER normal circumstances this would be one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Spain as villages, towns, suburbs and cities celebrate Holy Week (Semana Santa).
Even if as a foreigner you don’t understand the nuances of each parade or indeed why many of those taking part look like members of the Klu Klux Klan who had fallen into a vat of dye, it is still a fascinating event.
Clubs exist to look after the various huge statues which are paraded through the streets and as music has always been part of the Spanish tradition, there are numerous bands (some better than others) taking part.
The ladies (manolas) have their own torchlight parades dressed in black wearing mantillas (veils) and peinetas (combs) in their hair and already this year at least one group has undertaken their first parade with each person keeping properly distanced in the town of Porcuna in Jaen.
This may well have been an unofficial parade but in parts of Spain, priests have been seen blessing the streets and in some cases with official approval.
Whereas in the past, every local TV channel devoted hours of time to showing the parades, there are still many who will repeat scenes from last year’s parades and also transmit whatever masses and blessings take place in isolation.
It won’t be as much fun this year but just might have a lot more meaning.