Semana Santa and Easter in Quarantine
Well, Happy Easter, Semana Santa or whatever it is that you're celebrating or not celebrating! I bet no one ever thought that we would be 'celebrating' from home, having virtual parties and streaming your religious stuff online. I know that I definitely didn't. And I know that no one in Spain did. So firstly, what even is Semana Santa? Well, think of it like Easter except minus the Easter bunny and add in a lot of religion. Instead of simply celebrating Easter Sunday like most do in the United States, it's more of a week long celebration. During a normal year, schools would take off the whole week and the last half of the week would be bank holidays meaning that no one would work. Fast forward to 2020 and things are a bit different.
I want to take a look at how things are different and how it's impacting people individually and our societies. How is the quarantine going so far? As it been beneficial or just the opposite? Everyone has an opinion and an experience, as anyone with any form of social media can see. I am not here to tell anyone how to be, think or feel, but instead all I can do is to share my own view and experience; to share what is happening in Spain during this crazy time and during the most religious of all holidays. Maybe it'll help a little, maybe not, you decide.
Spain update & opinions:
So, what has changed in Spain with the quarantine? Absolutely nothing. If you haven't already, read my previous post which explains everything happening in Spain. So this is a bit of a follow up, as it seems like many people, including myself, are beginning to struggle a bit. We are now on day 30 of our lockdown. It could be more or less, honestly I'm not even sure. As of right now we have a minimum of 2 weeks left, most likely with at least 4. First we celebrated my partner's birthday and first Father's Day at home and next up, Mother's Day and my birthday. Personally, I have no issue with that, but how crazy.
But just to reiterate, when I say lockdown, I mean lockdown. No going outside for anything, not a walk, not a run, nothing. Let me repeat that: We can not go for even a walk alone. So for those Americans who are constantly complaining about not being able to go outside, haha, well maybe you should look at the actual definition of outside. You can not go shopping or gather in groups or to restaurants, but yes, you can go outside. You can enjoy your own yards with your family, you can go for a walk down the street or a run. In many places you can still ride bikes, go for hikes and go to the parks. Please, please appreciate this. And most of middle-class Americans who have homes instead of apartments, please appreciate that space as well. Now is simply the time to be home with your family's. Yes, it's tough, yes it's incredibly stressful at times, yes kids are difficult. But enjoy this time because you will probably never have it again. Don't get me wrong, I've broken down a few times, today included. I am desperate to have my family come and visit, since I have an almost 6 month old who barely knows either side of her family. I miss nature like crazy and going to the park with my baby. I miss the birds, the trees and the sun. So this morning, I almost lost it and went for an illegal 5 minute walk so I could feel the sun on my face. This is not easy, but we will get through it and will grow because of it. This time is forcing us to look at ourselves, to truly look at ourselves inside and find out who we are and how we react to things. This is the time to see what kind of relationships we really have with people. This is the time to really realize what is important to us and what we want out of life. This time is scary because a lot of people don't like what they find on the inside, but if that's the case then this is the time to face it and to grow.
Great, we can grow individually, but Steph what about the economy and all of the other side effects of this? Yeah, I get it, things aren't easy. Things are scary and uncertain and destructive. But think of this time as the eye of the storm. People will be dramatically affected, there will be destruction, but what happens after the storm? People come together and help each other out. Differences are set aside, governments help out. Speaking of the government... ha, well I have many opinions. I have many opinions about what this virus is and about how it should have been handled. Are these drastic measures actually necessary? I don't know, theorize as you may. All that I know is that there are real issues, such as the side effects of this, we all know this. Governments knew this was coming and all should have planned ahead, taking into consideration those non direct issues, such as job loss. With everything closed, which is the best way to stop things and save lives. There should have been prior plans for individuals and small businesses and help organizations should have been set up for domestic and mental health issues and so on. Did that happen? Not so much. No government in the world is going without criticism, but instead of adding to that realize that these things are as they are and none of us have a choice in that. Again, none of us citizens can control this temporary situation. You can control your reaction, the things you do on a daily basis, and how you plan to spend your time both physically and mentally. Again, I know it's tough mentally, physically and financially, just focus on what you can control. If you're not sure what to do at home with your time then definitely read my previous post, How to successfully quarantine. And if you're struggling with self-care then read my post on Quarantine immunity, health & wellness. I also have numerous recipes on the blog, so try those!
Spanish traditions new & old:
I also wanted to share a little bit of community inspiration from Spain. Most people in Spain understand that although it's not ideal to be under quarantine, that right now it's what is needed. I would imagine that especially this past week has been very tough for many Spaniards as it is Semana Santa. Spain is a very religious country and this is a very important holiday, especially in the south of Spain. Traditionally, in every city and village across the country, there are religious parades of thousands of people during this week. Imagine statues of religious figures being paraded through winding streets aged hundreds of years. But instead of a parade where the people stand on the side of the street, there are thousands of people in the streets, often hoping to touch the statues. As an American, some of the religious outfits that some of the people wear are shocking and terrifying, but wow is it an experience. If you aren't familiar with what I am talking about, then look into Semana Santa in Southern Spain. It's fascinating. Here's a little bit of virtual travel so everyone can experience a little bit of Spain. The first slideshow belongs to Jeff Cox so be sure to follow him to see more of his incredible work!
Anyways, all of these festivities are now cancelled. A culture so dependent upon social gatherings, religion, friends and family can not even have their religious traditions this year. But again, most people understand why and that this is just temporary, if that helps to put things in perspective. Overall though, the country has really come together. Every single night at 8pm everyone goes to their windows to applaud the hard work from the health care works, grocers and those very few essential jobs. There is often music playing and the fire and police departments drive up and down the streets to try and lift spirits. Almost every Friday and Saturday, someone plays music in my building and everyone go to their windows, kind of like a little party from a distance. So people may not have homes or yards or even be able to go for a walk, but we are all trying to stay up in any way possible. It's really the only option that we have right now. A few of the videos are below; make sure you have the sound on.
So the next time you start internally panicking, try to think about these things. Think about what is really important to you and what you can control. Don't try to be a superhero and to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Breathe. Everything will eventually be okay... we all hope!
I would love to hear about everyone's experiences with the quarantine, such as what you're doing to stay sane, fun ideas and how you're celebrating the holiday! Comment below or send a message.
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Stephanie & Audrey