Sunday, June 6, 2010

Corpus Christi in Madrid

Yesterday, Sunday, was the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi.  The traditional date was actually the Thursday preceding, but for some reason the city kept that date (suspending certain parking rules, for example), while the Church moved it to Sunday.

In any case, there were several days of masses and a large vigil the night before, and then there was the day itself. There was an outdoor mass in front of the Palacio Real. In the photo, you see the banners of the various cofradías and organizations that led  the procession.

DSCN3308 The custodia, or monstrance, is mounted on an elaborate platform on a carriage; in the past, it was probably carried or drawn by hand, but now it seemed to have some form of automotion of its own and glided along the route.  We followed, amidst the sound of the bells from the Cathedral, the military band in front, and bursts of unpredictable song. It took nearly three hours to shuffle up the hill to the Puerta del Sol and then back to the plaza in front of La Almudena.



People had laid floral carpets in the street. Unfortunately, I didn´t get a photo of any of them before they had been stepped on, but this will give you an idea.  Spearmint was included among the flowers, so they were fragrant when stepped on.


We got back to the Plaza and there was Benediction. Madrid is like New York, a secretly devout city that  likes to really express it when the right moment arrives.