Religion As Entertainment
For those, who are still struggling with getting emotionally free from religion, enjoying other people's religious behavior as a spectacle may be difficult. But when being completely void of religious feelings, other people's religious expressions and rituals can be very entertaining. Some religious behaviors are really hilarious.
I experience churches, mosques and temples as museums. Some of them contain excellent works of art. Paintings, sculptures, artistic crafts, creative decoration and great architecture are fascinating when looked at only with the perception of their beauty. Their artistic beauty can be appreciated as detached from any meaning and message only existing for those having the faith. Pictures and statues are not less interesting to look at, when they happen to represent a mother with a child instead of something else.
Sometimes there are even weird exhibits like mummies in glass coffins and bones in jars.
Religious rituals are often funny spectacles.
Lourdes is amazing. People travel long distances driven by their weird belief. They buy plastic bottles in the form of a madonna with the lid in the form of a crown. Then they queue to fill the bottle with water from a tap.
The Semana Santa in Seville is even better.
A crowd is waiting outside a church at midnight. The door opens. First comes a band playing sinister sounding music. Then comes a group of men dressed like Roman soldiers, followed by hooded men, barefoot, with expensive candles and carrying heavy wooden crosses. Finally the float with the statue of the madonna is carried out, she is adorned with richly embroidered clothes and lots of flowers.
Everybody shouts: Macarena, guapa, guapa!, until the idol is carried out of sight.
In a warm night in spring, with no other light except lots of candles, this spectacle has its fascination.
The day of Sant Antoni in Palma de Mallorca.
Two richly adorned priests, each holds a kind of a silver wand in his hand. Between them stands a silver bucket filled with water. Along the street comes a procession of goats, donkeys, dogs, some with costumes and hats, people carrying rabbits, and mice in cages, cats and chickens in baskets and even something looking like a mussel on a cushion. The priests are engaged in a vivid conversation, while they routinely dip the wand in the water and distribute the drops over the passing creatures.
That beats a day at the zoo.