Maundy thursday, April 5th, is one of the big days in Seville’s Semana Santa Calendar. Easter processions will be taking place across a packed city that takes itself very, very seriously at this time of the year. The processions themselves involve solemn lines of devotees dressed in robes that look alarmingly like the Klu Klux Klan’s official garb, something which must be exceedingly annoying for the Spanish, who obviously dressed like this first. These parades will be spectated upon by the rest of the city, who all turn out in their best smocks and suits.
So what happens when you drop a few thousand drunken English football louts into this staunchly traditionalist environment, at a time of year when even simple tourists in shorts and T-shirts are practically hissed off the streets? Well, we are about to find out. April 5th sees a home game in the city between Sevilla FC and Tottenham Hotspur. Seville town council has asked football’s governing body, UEFA, to reschedule the match to another date after Easter, and, much to the town council’s horror, UEFA said no. As one of the tourists that has been tutted at for daring to dress down at Easter in this often obnoxiously precocious city, I am tempted to say ‘Bring it on!’ But that would be childish. Let’s hope both parties behave with dignity and mutual respect on this important occasion. Some chance of that! 😉
More in Spanish here.