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Corpus Christi in Seville and Barcelona


Corpus Christi is a big religious event in Spain, celebrated across the country, and often with different local traditions. I knew almost nothing of this until we arrived in Seville this June, just on the day of the first big parade.


Walking from our apartment in the Santa Cruz neighborhood toward the Cathedral a few blocks away, we came upon elaborate altars set up along the pedestrianized streets.


Outside the Royal Alcazar, we found costumed dancers and others waiting to begin a major event inside—invitation only, so no more details!


As we walked back toward the apartment, we encountered the parade itself, complete with lots of brass and drums, following the tram tracks along a main street.


Eventually, they turned the corner and headed back into Santa Cruz, where they collected a local contingent of costumed and crowned kids (at top and below). That was the big evening, followed the next day by more events including a well-attended special mass at the Cathedral.


Several days later, on returning to Barcelona, I found that Corpus Christi wasn't over yet, although the parade near my hotel in the Raval district was nowhere near as uniformed or orderly, but just as enthusiastic!


What I didn't get to see, sadly, was a Catalonian Corpus Christi tradition that originated in Barcelona in the 17th century: Ou Com Balla, or "How the Egg Bounces." An egg is placed in the vertical jet of a fountain, carefully, so that it is held aloft by the water.

L'Ou_com_Balla_Barcelona_Catalonia   Image: Micaco from Catalonia/Wikimedia


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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