Loja’s Holy Week

It’s, undoubtedly, the most important manifestation of popular culture of Loja, and it’s based on the devout tradition of a large part of the society of this city, as their devotion for the Jesus’ Passion  of Nazareth is taken out to the street in a aesthetic, artistic and cultural performance. This celebration was declared of National Tourist Interest of Andalusia.

The most representative characters of Loja’s Holy Week are «The Incensarios», as they don’t exist anywhere else around the Spanish geography. It’s said that they first appeared in 1765, although they have existed since the time of the Reconquest. They are a rare and original figure, they do not go into the processional parade, but on their own. They move at high speed through the city, waiting for the procession at a specific point to meet it. When this time comes they start dancing in front of the thrones and they sing the so-called «Sátiras», which are saetas sung in the ancient way. I particularly like these characters, as they make a really different Easter. 
Apart from those, we have «The Apostles», who are another characteristic figure in this celebration. They do not parade at present, but efforts are being made to to get them back. They are men dressed like the apostles wearing masks that characterized them, which were made of lead. These masks still exist, but they are not used due to their great deterioration and incalculable value, so it’s expected that some copies will be made to be able to use them.
Another figure which characterizes Loja’s Holy Week is the “sease” children, who disappeared in the middle of the 20th century, but they have been recovered at the moment. They are a couple of children who open the processional parade and keep saying: “esto se hace en memoria de la Pasión”… (se hace = /sease/).
And last but not least, in Loja’s Good Friday there are «the Pediores». They are brothers of the Brotherhood of our Father Jesus of Nazareth, and their main feature is that they do not walk inside the procession; on the contrary, they come out and walk the way they want, carrying a tray in which people leave some money to help the brotherhood. These trays are real masterpieces, some very old ones from the 18th century being conserved.
Finally, apart from all these peculiar characters of Loja’s procession, the moment when the Good Friday Procession thrones are put into the church again is a must. The brothers, despite being really tired carrying the thrones, take guts and start running quite a long distance before entering the church, which means an incredible final effort after being/having been in procession for the whole day.
Mari Ángeles Jáimez – Nivel Avanzado 1

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