Sunday, December 11, 2011
This past Thursday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and an important festival in Seville. During the week there are processionals with marching bands, priests, candles and golden alters with beautiful statues of Mary on them. The night before the feast day, Spanish troubadours dressed in capes and adorned with ribbons and patches wander the streets playing and singing songs about the Virgin Mary. They also bring flowers to a statue of Mary right by the Cathedral and serenade her. Another tradition during this time of year is "el baile de los seises." This dance occurs on the altar in the Cathedral by a statue of Mary. Young boys dressed up in stunning costumes with feathered hats perform the dance. Young girls and boys in the choir sing and are accompanied by an orchestra. This festival has been one of my favorites in Spain!
This semester I have attended the University of Seville. The building I have class in was the first tobacco factory in Europe. I enjoy classes at the university- I am taking Spanish Baroque Poetry, Middle Ages and Renaissance Spanish Literature and Spanish Literature of the Nineteenth Century. In Spain, classes are basically all lecture. Students rarely participate in discussions. A big difference between American and Spanish universities is the grading system. Instead of the letter system, the Spanish grading system ranges from 0-10 with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. There is only a final test here, too-no papers, projects, quizzes or other exams. My professors have all been wonderful, but they all show up to class 15 minutes late (typical at Spanish universities) and cancel class frequently.