Today we are celebrating a month under lockdown. Thinking back to the start of the quarantine in mid-March, nobody believed that there was any chance we would still be stuck in lockdown by Easter. However here we are, with the end nowhere in sight but our spirits high.
On what would normally be one of the biggest days of the year in the Spanish calendar, the plazas and streets of every Spanish city were instead empty this morning despite the warm spring sunshine. The Sunday morning bells still rang out, proudly cutting through the silence of the city. With churchgoers confined to their houses and all public gatherings cancelled, many churches hauled themselves into the 21st century by streaming Easter mass on television stations or online. Many Spanish kids will no doubt have seen the increasingly frequent sight of their technophobic grandparents scrabbling to find their church’s Instagram profile or inaptly looking for their YouTube channel so they could listen to mass from the comforts of their confines. Video recordings of old processions were also replayed for those keen to cast themselves away to happier times. To give an impression of how fervent the following of the Easter processions is in Spain, this year is the first time since the Spanish Civil War that they haven’t taken place all over the country. Watched by hundreds of thousands of Spanish and international tourists, the processions reach beyond religion and are a symbol for community and solidarity.
Although this year the traditions of Easter will be deeply missed by many, Spanish families who cannot be together will have found other ways to connect with each other, much to the frustration of the more technophobic members no doubt.