Residents drum up Easter spirit in spite of pandemic

Residents perform traditional Good Friday drum concert amid COVID-19 restrictions in Calanda

By Michael Gore and Susana Vera

CALANDA, Spain, April 2 (Reuters) – When Holy Week processions were cancelled because of Spain’s COVID-19 restrictions, keeping a Good Friday drumming tradition alive took on extra importance for the residents of Calanda.

Dressed in vivid purple costumes, they played the drums in the streets, in front of houses or from balconies as part of the ‘Rompida de la Hora’ (Breaking of the hour).

The drums boomed throughout this southeastern Spanish town of 3,700 inhabitants – but with all the players observing social distancing.

“This Holy Week is a little sadder because I like to be with my friends and play the Calanda drum with them but we hope that next year this will pass and let us get together,” said Ivan Rodriguez, 24, a drummer and local resident.

After all the suffering of the last year, Santiago Villanueva, another resident, said residents felt a strong need to keep up the tradition.

“We are having a very sad time but the spirit continues,” he said.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley, Michael Gore and Susana Vera; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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