Corpus Christi by Sarah Andrews (www.sarahandrews.com)
 

On Corpus Christi, the time-worn phrase “stop and smell the roses” will have a new meaning. It’s the day the town of Sitges will pave its streets in flower petals, creating lush carpets of colour, design and aroma in celebration of the Catholic holiday Corpus Christi. Since at least the nineteenth century (although no one knows the real beginning) the town has decorated its streets in preparation for the religious procession.

Each street in the town centre is decorated by those living on the street and has its own style and personality. Grass from local parks and gardens forms the carpets’ base; red, yellow, white and pink petals are used in the elaborate designs, and coffee beans provide wording and other accents. While any flower can find its way into the street carpets, carnations are the favoured flower variety, and about 600,000 of them are used each year. On the morning of Corpus Christi, throngs of flower lovers fill the streets to observe the detailed designs. They have to enjoy the petals fast, because in the afternoon the religious procession, headed by the town gegants, tramples the sweet-smelling artwork.

The balcony and façade contest is another important part of the celebration. Residents throughout Sitges participate in the contest by covering their balconies with carnations, geraniums, white lilies and other varieties. Other floral exhibitions in Sitges, like the National Carnation Exhibition and the Bonsai Show, also coincide with Corpus Christi, making for the most colourful and fragrant celebration of Spring around.

Call the Ayuntamiento de Sitges for more information about the Corpus Christi celebration: 93 811 1684


 
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