Easter in Cartajima

ll is peaceful on Good Friday. Quiet and normal. But by midnight, Catholicism takes a back seat while Paganism takes over.

Easter Saturday. There is a seemingly endless supply of dynamite that the men send scudding down the streets and into the air. They go down to the forests and, amid drinking and conch-blowing, haul back foliage to line the streets in preparation for the big event on Sunday. For real life effect, turn up your volume!!

Easter Sunday morning. All the guests have just fallen asleep when the band comes around with the express purpose of waking everybody up.

At noon, the climax of Easter. The men from the night before are shaved and in their best suits. Women in new outfits. The virgin is taken from the church and down to the main celebration street – Calle Ancha – and meets up with her son in an unusual ceremony called “Las Cortesias.”

And then, the final bang! The judas doll is set alight. It is dangerously full of dynamite and doused with petrol. The mayor and other key village players keep the curious and foolhardy as far away as possible while the doll bangs and splutters. Sorry this is sideways but you get the idea!

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