A Paso (Spanish: "Episode of the Passion of Christ") is an elaborate float made for religious processions. They are carried by porters on staves, like a litter or sedan chair, and are usually followed or escorted by a band. Some have long skirts that cover the bearers entirely, giving the impression that the statue is floating on its own power.
The porters are called costaleros, cargadores or portadores and their leader is called a capataz ("Foreman" or "Head Man"). The capataz sets the chicotá, the period of time between a paso being lifted and set down again; the costaleros cannot pick up or set down the paso except by his leave. This is signalled by the llamador ("crier"), a knocker on the front of the float.
During Semana Santa ("Holy Week", the week preceding Easter Sunday) the custom is to make pasos adorned with large wooden statues of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, saints and biblical personalities from the Passion.
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- Seville's Holy Week Rituals Draw In an Outsider (New York Times: March 26th, 2006)