Oberammergau Passion Play
It has been six weeks since we left Marinduque ending our six months of snowbird lifestyle and sojourn in the Philippines. But the memories of the Moriones Festival and Holy Week Celebration still linger in my mind. Macrine and I did not accept any guest in the beach house last April, so we enjoyed the Holy Week Festivities to the fullest. We attended all the parades, processions, and other activities ( Fairs) except for the two Battle of the Morions Presentations on Thursday afternoon. One was held in Boac and the other in Santa Cruz at the same time. The Philippine Inquirer even commented that politics is now part of the Moriones Festival, since the two sponsors of the Battle of the Morions are political rivals. The Boac Contest is headed by the Governor while the Santa Cruz presentation is headed by the Congressman, political rivals in the province. So, when I saw the YouTube video of the Oberammergau Passion Play from Germany today, it reminded me of our Senakulo Presentation in Boac.
Incidentally, Easter 2012 is still about 10 months away, but I have already one inquiry on the Chateau Du Mer Beach House. As of today, I am not sure, if we will be accepting guests for the 2012 Easter Season. But continue your inquiry and I will answer all your questions. The 2011-2012 rental rates is posted in my Chateau Du Mer blog site. Now back to the subject of the Oberammergau Play of Bavaria, Germany versus the Senakulo Play of Boac, Marinduquue.
Have you heard of the Oberammergau Passion Play? The first time I heard of this play was in 2000. Macrine and I were on our vacation time exchange at that time in Marbella, Spain (a package tours sale offer). Our one week schedule was full so we had no time to go to Germany then, but I have always compared (in my mind) this event to the Easter Passion Play ( Senakulo) of Boac, Marinduque. The similarity is in the theme of the play, but otherwise Germany's celebration( every 10 years) is much grander and pompous than Marinduque's yearly presentation based on the information below.
Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1634 as a tradition by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany.
The town's residents vowed that if God spared them from the effects of the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play every ten years thereafter for all time depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults rose from one in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. The adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they were spared after they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634. Performances took place in 2000, and the most recent season of 102 performances took place from Saturday 15 May until Sunday 3 October 2010.
The play, now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during the first year of each decade, involves over 2,000 performers, musicians, and stage technicians, all residents of the village. The play comprises spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment and tableaux vivants, which are scenes from the Old Testament depicted for the audience by motionless actors accompanied by verbal description. These scenes are the basis for the typology, the interrelationship between the Old and New Testaments, of the play. They include a scene of King Ahasuerus rejecting Vashti in favor of Esther, the brothers selling Joseph into slavery in Egypt, and Moses raising up the nehushtan (bronze serpent) in the wilderness. Each scene precedes that section of the play that is considered to be prefigured by the scene. The three tableaux mentioned are presented to the audience as prefiguring Christianity superseding Judaism, Judas selling information on the location of Jesus, and the crucifixion.
It can be said that the evolution of the Passion Play was about the same as that of the Easter Play, originating in the ritual of the Latin Church, which prescribes, among other things, that the Gospel on Good Friday should be sung in parts divided among various persons.
Length and frequency
The Oberammergau play has a running time of approximately seven hours, with a meal break provided. Audiences come from all over the world, often on package tours, the first instituted in 1870. Admission fees were first charged in 1790. Since 1930, the number of visitors has ranged from 420,000 to 530,000. Most tickets are sold as part of a package with one or two nights' accommodation.
The play is today staged every ten years, in the final year of each decade - that is, the year whose numeral ends with a zero; hence, the next performances will be in 2020. However, these regular performances at ten-year intervals have been punctuated with additional performances such as those of 1922, and again an entire cycle of performances in 1934 (over and above the regular 1930 schedule) to commemorate the 300-year anniversary of the original vow, and again in 1984 (over and above the regular performances of 1980 and 1990) in celebration of the 350th anniversary of the very first play in 1634.
Here's a short video of Oberammergau Passion Play
Senakulo is one of the highlights on Moriones festival in the Island of Marinduque during the Holy week. Moreover, it is the reenactment of the Holy bible history starting from the creation of everything until the resurrection of Christ. The play usually starts from Holy Tuesday till Maundy Thursday.
Senakulo is a three part theatre play that is executed on the town’s outdoor Moriones Arena in Boac. This play has been executed by the group of people called “Senakulista” since 1977. Senakulista is composed by people from Boac, Marinduque and by the group named “Kapatiran ng Morion”, a group of people who participate as the centurions that roams at the vicinity of Boac every Lenten season.
Yearly, their preparation takes a month ahead before the holy week arrives. And to make Senakulo more realistic, the town of Boac built a place where the act will fit perfectly. The place is addressed as the Moriones Arena where the annual presentation of the Senakulo, Pugutan Play, and the Via Crucis, the Passion of the Christ, are performed. The Moriones Arena is located in the town proper just by the side of the Boac Riverbed. Starting from the stage that has the resemblance of a Roman’s Temple up to the extension on the right side of the stage where trees, waterfall, a cave, and a hill can be seen. The venue is surely a realistic place that really compliments the play.
The town people and tourists always look forward on this event during the festival. The participants always make sure that spectators will be astounded once they start executing Senakulo. And because of this, Senakulista is considered a very effective group on performing the Senakulo for they are also affecting their audience as if they are part of it. Here are two videos excerpts of Marinduque's Holy Week Activities, last year and this year.
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