Easter Sunday has arrived quietly here in Vigo and no processions are scheduled for today. In some parts of Spain, however, there are processions every day during Holy Week.
Two years ago we spent Easter in Salamanca where we had a room with a balcony looking out onto the splendid Plaza Mayor. This had the advantage of giving us an excellent view of the processions coming into and out of the square but there were also disadvantages. Several groups of revellers returning home in the small hours of the morning sang their way across the square - at intervals, of course, so that were we were disturbed a number of times - and then on Good Friday morning we were woken at about five thirty by the mournful strains of the funeral march as the procession made its way under our window.
On Easter Sunday morning, though, there was a celebratory procession, ending with the risen Christ saluting Mary in the centre of the square, surrounded by penitentes from a range of cofradias, each group wearing hoods of a different colour. On the Monday morning, eating a hurried breakfast en route for the railway station, we leafed through the local paper. There was a photo of the re-encuentro with Jesus bowing down to Mary. There was our balcony. Oh, look, there I was on the balcony. Fame at last! Of sorts!
Meanwhile, back in 2009, I read in La Voz de Galicia that the toy manufacturers Playmobil are taking a certain German pastor to court over his use of what the Spanish often refer to as los clics. Playmobil accuses him of encouraging children to engage in potentially harmful or dangerous activities with toys which they pride thermselves in making very safe. They have also taken action to prevent him using the words Playmobil or clic in his web address.
Apparently, Markus Bomhard has been using Playmobil figures on his website to illustrate Bible stories for children. Because the little figures always come clothed he has repainted them in flesh tones for the story of Adam and Eve. He would have no problem with the Flood or the Nativity as Playmobil markets a Noah's Ark and a Christmas crib, complete with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
The culmination, however, seems to have been Easter. Pastor Bomhard has taken the little figurines apart so that the arms can be extended sideways, a movement not natural to these little people, and so that the feet can be placed one on top of the other. Then he has nailed the little figure to a cross: a sad fate for an innocent little Playmobil man!
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