In Barcelona, Palm Sunday is celebrated much like it is here, with a few differences. Faithful Catholics go to Mass to celebrate Jesus's arrival in Jerusalem, and have their palms blessed. However, where generally our priests will process around the inside of our church and sprinkle holy water on the crowd, congregations in Barcelona actually leave the churches (lead by their pastors) and process around their neighborhoods, waving their palms (and olive branches!) and stopping periodically to sing and pray. Sometimes parishes will even bring a donkey to walk with them (since Jesus road into Jerusalem on a donkey).
Palm Sunday also carries a special sentiment for godparents and godchildren. God parents will play a special part in the Mass by gifting special palms to their godchildren. Boys receive "palmónes," or exceptionally tall palms, while girls receive "palmas," or intricately woven palms. Palmas can be bought at stalls outside of churches, or woven by the godparent.
Today's Google Doodle was all about the Day of the Dead! How cool is that? Give it a watch, and let me know if you have any more questions about this Mexican holiday!
There is also currently a story on Snapchat featuring pictures and videos from today's Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Mexico City! Que fabuloso!
Madrid, the political capital of Spain, is located in the geographic center of the country. While most capitals are located near a large port or body of water, Madrid was chosen to be the capital because it is centrally located. Before Spain became the country it is today, it was made up of many small kingdoms that ruled themselves. There have been both European and Arabic kings, and there were many wars and alliances between the different kingdoms. The Spain of today was mostly united by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, but each region still maintains its own unique culture, with different foods, music, architecture, and in some regions even different languages.
Explore the Spanish capital using the interactive map below!
As many of you know, Pope Francis is the first pope to come from the Americas. He was born Jorge Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina is a country at the southern tip of South America, bordering Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile. The main language spoken in Argentina is Spanish. However, due to the many Italian immigrants who moved to Argentina in the 19th and 20th centuries, many people speak Spanish with an Italian accent, and many Argentines speak Italian as a second language (just like Pope Francis!).
What are some other countries that have been affected by immigration? How has the introduction of new and different cultures affected these countries?