Over thirty thousand people filled the streets last night to watch the passage of one of the most iconic events of the year, the procession of El Sant Enterrament.
The procession dates back to 1550, a time when the Catholic church felt the increasing threat from the rise of the Protestant movement and decided to put on a big show akin to a religious theatre to lure the believers back into its bosom.
The tradition continues to these days and here in Tarragona over three thousand confraternities members take part and they do it so well that the it has been declared a traditional event of national interest.
It starts in Plaça del Rey where the 20 “misterios” the large floats depicting various stages from the life of Jesus are gathered. Sadly these are not the originals, most of which were destroyed during the civil war, but impressive reproductions. This year due to the unprecedented amount of visitors and an alleged Jihadist security threat the square was cordoned off and security was everywhere.
But this was no deterrent to the pathos of the event; as the old city became silent of voices and the large procession moved past the cathedral, night fell and the streets filled with thousands of candle lights and the mournful cadence of footsteps, brass bands and drums.