Easter Holiday in Spain; One of the deepest and religious tradition
Semana Santa Calanda Spain
This week I would like to talk you about Semana Santa Calandina, declared to be of national and international tourist interest, it belongs to the drum’s and the bass drum’s route (ruta del tambor y el bombo) . It is world known internationally by the broken of the time “La Rompida de la hora”, which takes place at twelve o’clock on Good Friday (Viernes Santo). The “putuntunes” (Roman guard), represented by young people who in that year turn 18 years old and by volunteers, remain standing guard in sign of mourning until midnight of Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo), when the sound of drums begins for the first time in the Holy week, “Semana Santa” (Via Crucis). During Good Friday, the most massive act of all, the broken of the hour, “La Rompida de la hora” takes place at 12 noon. At half past twelve takes place the opening ceremony procession, involving a large number of drummers. The evening begins at eight o’clock, with the procession of la Soledad, encompassing the different brotherhoods “cofradías”. The next day, takes place at nine o’clock in the morning the procession of the funeral ” El Entierro”, the more solemn. The curfew lasts until the two midday on Holy Saturday.
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Legend of the drums
The legendary tradition explains that it happened in the spring of 1127 when the few Christian calandinos were celebrating the events of Holy week, ignoring an Arab raid were approaching to the village.
A pastor who was caring of the flock in the mountains close to the town, seeing the Arabians gallop, he began beating a rustic tambourine so he could warn of the danger. This signal was heard by another pastor who did the same the sound of the drums reach the residents in the village who could high on a safe place. The attempted invasion made the Arabs to return to their place of origin without obtaining any loot.
Here ends the legend that gives way to the story. Pastors gathered every year on Good Friday to remember the event, hitting tanned sheep and goats, but in 1550 fray Pedro Merlo, religious of the order of Calatrava forbade the celebration by not finding her own religious commemoration that took place these days.
It was not until 1640 the day after the miracle, on March 30, when the entire population marched joyously in procession to the chapel of the shrine where an image of the Virgin of Pilar was. At that date Calanda was occupied by soldiers involved in the war of succession “Guerra de Sucesión”, so it is not surprising the accompaniment of the garrison in this courtship.
All this was increasingly more important to develop the activity of playing the drum in a custom.
During the first half of the 20th century, another priest, Mosen Vicente Allanegui, also calandino, organized the processions and gave a meaning to percussion with his proclamation: “as symbolizing the impressive nature duel to the death of the creator, a roll of drums breaks the silence at noon in Calanda”.
Calanda is a member of the route of the drum and the drum, being one of the founders of the same municipalities.
To know more about “La Ruta del Tambor” in Bajo Aragon
“Romper la Hora”
“I don’t know what is causing this emotion, comparable to that sometimes comes from the music. It is undoubtedly due to the Pulsations of a secret rhythm that comes from abroad, producing us a shuddering physical, free of all reason. My son Juan Luis performed a short “Les tambours de Calanda” and I used that roll deep and unforgettable in several movies, especially in “The golden age” and “Nazarín”.
At the time of my childhood, there would be no more than two hundred or three hundred participants. Today there are more than four hundred and thousand, six hundred or seven hundred drums drums.
It was noon on Friday the crowd gathers in the square. All wait in silence, with the drum shoulder. If some impatient comes forward in the roll the entire crowd makes her mute.
The first campada of the twelve of the clock of the Church, a huge and a great Thunder ROAR echoes in all the people with overwhelming force. All drums at the same time redouble. An indefinable emotion that soon turns into a kind of drunkenness, takes hold of men…”
The book “My last breath” Luis Buñuel.
Luis Buñuel, Spanish film director who was born in Calanda, Aragon, loved the Calanda Holy Week, to know more about him
The drum rolls
Calanda is robe and purple tercerol. It is played in gangs though lately the brotherhood has displaced groups.
There are quite a few rolls, usually always adapted to the hype that marks the counterpoint. There are drum rolls where the pace required much delivery, both drum and the drum, and others more gentle and easy to follow.
A good drummer should boast of skill in dolls, temple and good left to hold the drum rolls.
Curfews are in some cases name or nickname that created, thus the Bunion, the Rabalera, the Valencian, or uncle Ramón. Others are more curious as the firefighter, correata, the rustler and Symphony.
But the touch more vibrant and peculiar of Calanda is the palillera March, that like the tourists. The palillera is a composition invented by several drummers on the forties of the last century. In its interpretation the drum roll, mixing beat sticks and the final auction that comes with the entry of drums that gives you all the musical momentum.
This touch, has to be interpreted with slow, and as points out Buñuel, touches the collective unconscious, accelerated in some instances, by the emotion of the drummers, distorting it and losing all the pace, leading to what the calandinos call the crazy, in which there is no metric or musical compass.
The emblematic drumroll, is played in unison by drums and bass drums, in the final act of Holy Saturday, closing the penitential Holy week percussion.
This traditions are part of our culture and it show you a bit more about how we are in Spain, and the big diversity of traditions and culture. Spain it is much more than a great sun shining most of the time, we have a wonderful history and traditions that keeps people together.
Come to Spain and enjoy the traditions with us, in Teruel, Aragon you can enjoy of “la Ruta del Tambor” and during a whole week you can feel the passion for deep tradition in Spain.