Tourists visiting Spain at Easter can be forgiven for gasping in horror when they see people marching in processions wearing pointed hooded robes with just holes cut for their eyes.
For many, the first thing that comes to mind is American white supremacist hate group the Ku Klux Klan.
The white pointy hats are a common sight in Spain during Santa Semana and have nothing whatsoever to do with hate groups.
The Spanish version of the pointed hood called a capirote has been worn during Easter celebrations in Spain for hundreds of years, whereas the KKK’s attire came about in the 20th century so clansman could not be recognised and held accountable for their misdeeds.
The Spanish capirotes first appeared during the Spanish Inquisition when people who committed a crime were obliged to wear a yellow robe and a paper cone with their crime emblazoned upon it.
Centuries later catholic brotherhoods started wearing them a symbol of their penance during Easter in an attempt to get closer to god.
The hood also covered the sinners face so that other people would not know their identity.