|Christ with flowers|
CASTELLAR In an unprecedented gesture (in these parts, anyway), the organizers of this year's annual romería at Castellar -scheduled for next Sunday, May 6, as the culmination of the village's feria- have requested the devotees of the Cristo de La Almoraima, one of the most venerated images in the region, not to spend their money on the traditional carnations. Instead, they are asking that the same amount as would be spent on flowers, be used to buy food for the needy of the parish. The image itself will be carried through the streets on a simple mound made of moss, a big departure from tradition aimed at supporting a food-raising campaign the parish is sharing with Cáritas, the Catholic charity. The beneficiaries of the food collection will be the 32 families that are presently receiving bags of it from the charity, a long list that includes several members of the Brotherhood. "You don't have to go far," says the President of the Brotherhood, José Carrillo Rojas, "to find people having a very hard time of it these days." Usually, people bring several dozen carnations to pave the way for the Christ through the streets, but this year, "We want the money to be used for food," adds Carrillo.