With Easter just around the corner, I thought I’d post this photo I took at a gift shop in Cartagena, Spain. As you can see from the sign, tourists often mistake these hooded figures for Ku Klux Klan members. In truth, there is no affiliation.
These hooded robes, called capirotes, are worn by devout Catholics during Holy Week in Spain, when large processions march slowly through the streets. (To learn more, check out the article Semana Santa in Spain Holy Week Glossary which does an excellent job of explaining how Catholics celebrate Easter in Spain.)
I visited Spain once during Holy Week and it was fascinating. I’m not Catholic, so it was all new to me. Not only were there hooded folks walking through the streets, but some penitents wore thorny crowns and dragged crosses along the way. I saw one guy staggering along with no less than 12 crosses over his shoulders. Made me wonder what the heck he was atoning for!
Spanish capirote hoods also remind me of conical paper hoods I used to see skinned rabbits wearing in butcher shop windows when I lived in Belgium. Come to think of it, a pointy hood like a capirote would be the easiest hat for the Easter Bunny to wear. I’m just saying…
What about you? Ever seen anything while traveling that gave you the wrong impression at first glance?
Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in North Texas travel, cemetery symbols, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”
Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas , Understanding Cemetery Symbols, and 100 Things to Do in Dallas - Fort Worth Before You Die.