Holy Week in Seville - Costaleros lifting a paso

  • Seville’s celebration of Holy Week (“Semana Santa” in Spanish) is unique in Spain, and even in the world. The festivities consist of a series of parades or processions. Each procession consists of generally two floats, or pasos. Paso can refer either to the physical float or to the procession as a whole. The paso proper, or barco (boat) is about the size of a car or a small truck and is equally heavy — up to several metric tons. Yet it is propelled entirely by manpower: With only the assistance of padding and braces, a team of 30 to 60 men known as costaleros carry the massive structure on their heads and shoulders.

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