The holy week



Procesion in a Goya painting




Typical Easter procession today



Easter Processions are traditions with a very old origin and they are quite interesting. Some of these processions come from pagan traditions.  They were celebrated way before Christianity.  In ancient texts there are mentions and descriptions on Isis (The Egyptian Goddess of Health, Marriage and Wisdom).  These processions are very similar to modern pilgrimages to shrines of virgins.
Goya engraving on a victim of the Inquisition

The processions of virgins must have a more ancient origin than other processions because it is known that female matriarchal cults are older than pathriarcal ones.



Other traditions are mixed with more modern customs.  This can be especially seen with the innovations made in the sixteenth century following the institution of the Inquisition, when it was necessary to cover the face of the brothers of formed troop inquisitors, family members, notaries, guards, executioners, etc.

Executioner


 

In many places the face of "capirotes" was not covered, because its origin is related to festive celebrations of the beginning of Spring.  But elsewhere it was necessary to cover the face of those who should not show their face to make its work more efficient as secret services of the Inquisition.




The hoods are also interesting, the first "capirotes" became as mocking Jews or Muslims who were walking in a humiliating way.  The brothers did not use that outfit but a kind of balaclava to hide his face, and more recently have been made more decorated and artistic penitential hoods, but its function was initially burlesque and only for those convicted.