Tuesday, March 28

“The covid break unhooks young people from Holy Week”

Antonio Jesús Pérez, Juan Alberto Moreno, Jonatan Mariscal and Joaquín Rodríguez in front of the images of Santo Domingo. / Casimir Moreno

Four foremen encourage the inhabitants of Badajoz to participate in the processions and take care of a festival that is of National Tourist Interest

Rocio Romero

They are foremen of four brotherhoods in Badajoz, they are immersed in the preparation for Holy Week and they are halfway between the illusion of returning to the streets and the fear of finding a cold environment. “We fear that the covid break, for two years without processions, will definitely disengage young people from Holy Week.”

Those who speak are Antonio Jesús Pérez, responsible for the passage in La Oración en el Huerto; Juan Alberto Moreno, who marks the march in the brotherhoods of San Fernando and La Soledad; Jonatan Mariscal, who pronounces the levantás in San Roque, and Joaquín Rodríguez, who decides when he plays a chicotá in the steps of Santo Domingo.

The rehearsals have already begun and they have the complete costaleros crews, although some would not hurt if some more were added and they make calculations for Good Friday, when the Magna Procession goes through the streets and, under the steps, all the costaleros are that they know

His concern is not so much in increasing the number of people who make the steps walk, but in the rest of the components of the processions. Nazarenes and altar boys are needed to accompany virgins and Christs. The four share the fear that these two years of hiatus have disengaged young people and children from the rhythm of Holy Week. Added to this is the fact that many bugle and drum bands have found it very difficult to move forward due to the virus.

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“Those who already collaborated with Holy Week are here. But there have been two years of pandemic and we have to give it a future, “says Jonatan Mariscal.

“Holy Week is a Badajoz festival that goes beyond religion, it is a city festival,” says the San Roque foreman. And as a Festival of National Tourist Interest, it requires that Badajoz maintain its support not only by going out to the streets to see the steps, but also by participating in its organization. “Just as it is overturned with the Carnivals or the Fair”, they comment.

Between 20 and 30 euros

They remember that the brotherhoods have their doors open to all who want to join. The cost of getting out of Nazarene ranges between 20 and 30 euros, although in some brotherhood it can go up a little more. It is the cost of renting the tunic, hood and mask; plus the site ballot, which arrives with the candle.

All four are in their 40s and see a generational jump in their ranks, which are split between young children and seniors. “There are no young people,” they warn.

While parents do involve young children, most break away from sorority customs by their teens. Those who have children around twenty hardly find friends of these who actively participate in the brotherhoods. “From the age of 8 or 9 there is a jump that leads to 30”, they agree, while adding that if one “does not join as a child it is very difficult to do so later”.

“We have to work for the future, so that Holy Week continues when our generation leaves it. We believe that these last two years have been lost without processions due to the pandemic to engage new brothers, ”the four insist.

Behind each brotherhood there are people from Badajoz who share hobbies, experiences and make friends, and remember that the doors are open to all those who want to get closer. They are in time to participate in the brotherhoods that will put the first banner on the street on April 10.

«Society has a tendency towards detachment and secularism»

The four foremen observe that “society has a tendency towards detachment and secularism”, but they claim the fervor of Holy Week and its character as a citizen celebration beyond the strict religiosity that commemorates the death and resurrection of Christ.

These four brotherhoods have been in their brotherhoods since they were children and have verified that fewer and fewer people come to these groups. However, once they set foot on the street “thousands of people come” to see the steps. “But you have to participate,” they agree, to ensure the future of the party and that in a few years the steps continue to take to the streets of Badajoz with all its members.


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