I mentionned in the last post the procession which takes place every year on Good Friday in Perpignan. Here is a video that shows the beginning of the procession.
Impressive, atmospheric, just a little frightening, the long black or red hooded and robed figures of the Procession de la Sanch march slowly through the streets of Perpigan to the solemn beat of black veiled tambourines The Procession de la Sanch, which takes place every ’Vendredi Saint’, (Good Friday), opens the celebration of the Easter Holy week. In 1416, Vincent Ferrier founded the brotherhood of “La Sanch” (the blood) in the church of St Jaques in Perpignan. The origin of La Sanch was to assist and accompany the condemned to their execution. The wearing of the black and red hooded robes was to prevent prisoners being recognized and ‘lynched’ in the streets as pay back for crimes committed. The procession as a whole commemorates the Passion and the Agony of Christ. At the head of the parade walks a penitent dressed in red, intermittently ringing an iron bell as he leads the penitents, carrying ‘misteris’ (full-size representations of the different scenes of the Passion) through the streets of Perpignan. The procession takes place in silence – some walk bare-foot, others are on their knees…... only the sound of the tambourine, and the occasional peal of the bell breaks the eerie atmosphere, along with the Goigs, traditional Easter songs which accompany the march. Night processions also take place in the evening at Collioure and Arles-sur-Tech.