Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Good Friday

Not being a religious person, Easter for me is more about family get togethers, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs than about going to church.
Obviously I know what it is all supposed to be about, and I respect those who follow their faith.   But while some Christians clearly go to church regularly and  make efforts to give some thought to their religion at Easter, it does seem to me that these days many of those who say they are Christians spend their Easter much the same way as I do - all Easter Bunny and no Jesus Christ.

I don't necessarily think that everybody has to be in church every Sunday to be a Christian.  Personally I think that how you act day to day is far more important.

But at the same time, you surely have to make a proper effort to remember the point of special days like Easter and Christmas, and not just go with the commercial and fun bits.

This year I am in Argentina for Easter, a country where religion is still very important to most people and it was interesting to see the difference.

In the UK you can't move in the shops for Easter eggs from February onwards. Here, there are some Easter Eggs around, but relatively few, and they don't seem to compete for which egg can be the biggest - or at least have the biggest packaging.

But more importantly, there was real evidence of religion.  In a city that rarely closes streets, the Avenida de Mayo was closed on Good Friday to allow a Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, procession, which follows the 14 stations of the cross.

The procession was led by a priest with a cross.  There was one group where people were dressed as Jesus carrying his very large cross and a bunch of roman soldiers.

A few carried large statues of Jesus or Mary on a bed of flowers.  Another group carried a huge cross with tea lights lighting it up.  Others were just dressed as they happened to be that day, having come from work or home, or wherever.

Most people carried lit candles as they walked, and sang or prayed along with the priest, who was piped out to the streets through huge loudspeakers.
It didn't really matter what they wore or whether they carried anything.  The point is they were there - a few thousand of them - taking a couple of hours out on this Good Friday evening to demonstrate their faith.  Nuns walked along mixed in with the public; there was no big deal of church groups first with a big banner and everyone else follows.  When they reached the Plaza de Mayo there was a big open air service outside of the cathedral.  This wasn't about displays or showing off, it was simply people moving together to commemorate the death of Jesus.
To me, this seemed to be what faith should look like.
And just so you know, the reason I have a photo of one particular girl is that I was trying to take one of the nun walking behind her, but she saw me and kept getting in the way. She seemed so seemed desperate to get in the picture that I took one of her. It made her happy.

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