The procession of the drunk, Borrachos, in Cuenca, Spain, was cancelled at the last minute this morning because of the prospect of rain. Also know as the procession of the “Turbas” the procession was supposed to start at 5.30am on Good Friday. However, this year the organisers introduced the option of cancelling the procession if there was a prospect of rain and it seems they exercised that option. Thousands of faithful followers and onlookers were disappointed.
Some faithful beating hard on their traditional drums of the Turbas were shouting “Gandules” which I was told meant something like lazybones. But whatever it means, I don’t think it was meant as a compliment to the organisers.
Another man in his light blue fraternity robe, just kept saying to me, “It’s very hard, very hard” with an emotional look in his eyes. I was convinced that some of that emotion was not only due to drink.
But the feelings of real disappointment were expressed by a young man who out of frustration and disappointment looked up at the sky and said, “if this sky is ready for rain, let God come down and see for himself.” Strong words, but these are emotional moments.
The drinking takes place all night then towards five thirty people start congregating towards the church of the Saviour where great emotion is expressed during the process which goes on until 12.30pm.
The procession with the statue of Jesus of Nazareth at the front leaves the Church of The Saviour (El Salvador) which would then be carried around the historical centre of Cuenca. Throughout the route people dressed in their fraternity robes beat drums or blow bugles. The unofficial accessory would be a glass full or bottle full of the necessary liquid to accompany the faithful.
Although a lot of the drinking had already been done according to tradition, the faith in Cuenca was seriously tested this morning.
I took the photos before 5.30am and some soon after the news that the procession was cancelled reached my location. I was in Calle de Alonso de Ojeda and Calle de la Puerta de Valencia. The photo of the Church of the Saviour was taken from the top of Plaza del Salvador.
Note: Although this procession is called of the “drunk” or “borrachos” I did not witness any unruly behaviour where I was and at the time I was there. I would describe the Turbas around me at this time as in good spirits with great expectations and eager to start the procession.