Easter celebration or a ‘tea party’?

I was looking at Salon.com’s little slide show titled “Holy Week around the world” when I saw some interesting Reuters images from Brazil and Spain. Boy, did I do a double-take.

Apparently, Brazil celebrates a “Procession of the Torches” in which the participants wear conical headdresses and carry torches

Photos:

Penitents attend the Procession of the Torches during Holy Week ...

Hooded penitents take part in the Procissao do Fogareu (the ...

Penitents attend the Procession of the Torches during Holy Week ...

Reuters and Associated Press photos

Jesus H. Christ — Easter or “Mississippi Burning”?

Anyway, even the Brazilian kiddies get involved in the festivities:

A girl dressed as a penitent prepares before a procession during ...

Young penitents take part in a Holy Week youth procession in ...

Children dressed as penitents prepare for a procession during ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

Looks kinda like the Teletubbies meet the Ku Klux Klan to me…

And what’s this? A prototype of a “Star Wars”-inspired imperial guard for the increasingly embattled Pope Palpatine?

Penitents take part in the Santo Cepulcro procession during ...

Reuters photo

(Actually, the photo’s caption reads: “Penitents take part in the Santo Sepulcro procession during Holy Week in [La Paz, Bolivia, on] April 2, 2010.”) Also in La Paz:

A hooded penitent attends a Holy Week mass on Good Friday in ...

Associated Press photo

Y en El Salvador:

Penitents carry a statue of Jesus Christ as part of the Via ...

Reuters photo

Not to be outdone by Latin America, Spaniards also don pointy hats this time of year:

Devotees take part in the La Soledad procession during Holy ...

A young girl plays surrounded by Penitents taking part in the ...

Penitents take part in the procession of the 'Jesus Yacente' ...

Reuters, AFP and Associated Press photos

That photo above reminds me of “Logan’s Run” and I find it a bit chilling, actually… 

And even my neighbor Mexico gets in on the pointy-hat act:

Silent procession : Penitents on the procession of silence, ...

AFP photo

It’s all a bit sKKKary, and I think that my Easter has been ruined…

But seriously, why haven’t I seen this before? I’d thought that I’d already seen it all…

Can the pointy hats and the torches be a coincidence? Was the KKK influenced by Spanish and/or Latin American culture?

I just can’t see images like that and think, “Oh, Easter!” I tend to think: “Oh, a lynching!”

At least in their Holy Week celebrations in Spain and Latin America they don’t actually burn big wooden crosses, though — right?

Anyway, I pick on Spain and Latin America (I love them, or I wouldn’t have learned Spanish), but if you are interested in the topic, Yahoo! News has a much larger slide show of Holy Week celebrations from around the world here, including plenty of pictures — like this one:

A Filipino penitent has his feet nailed to a cross during yearly ...

Associated Press photo

— of “penitents” in the Philippines volunteering to have nails driven through their hands and feet (one phenomenon that I have been aware of for many years now).

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