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Archive for March 3rd, 2017

During the Holy week in Spain it feels like you can immerse yourself in another world. The most significant celebration of the year transforms the whole country into a life-time experience. Unique atmosphere, great food, public holidays all over Spain, hundreds of processions and family time – that’s the Holy Week for Spaniards.

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procession in Leon source: turespaña

Starting with the death of Jesus Christ, the Holy Week in Spain has been a work-in-progress for centuries. The tradition itself has remained the same, but has developed in various ways. To give an example: The Holy Week has not been celebrated with processions before Marqués de Tarifa, who institutionalized the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross), returned to Spain in 1521,. The result of the changes is an absolute incredible week celebrated everywhere in Spain!

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nazarenos source: turespaña

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floats in Logrono

The Holy Week starting on Palm Sunday and continuing for the rest of the week is dominated by incredible processions boasting floats of the Virgin and of a scene from Christ’s Passion carried by up to forty men called costaleros (members of brotherhoods). Along with the float, never-ending rows of nazarenos are walking. The nazarenos may be seen barefoot, although some processions last up to 14 hours. Even though their special hoods remind of the Ku Klux Klan, it has nothing in common with the American clan but symbolizes the people’s rise towards heaven.

The highlight of the procession is when the float exits and enters the church. While a lot of ceremonies are combined with colours and music, the so called “Procesion del Silencio” is recognizable by total silence and a lot of emotions. The processions are watched by nicely dressed women and men in suits, especially during the second half of the week. Although, Semana Santa is a spiritual week, it is not important to be religious to join and appreciate the Holy Week in Spain as it is also known as a fun-filled celebration.

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procession in Sevilla, source: turespaña

No matter how small a town is – you will find an Easter celebration there. Every region has their own traditions and each celebration is unique on its own. It is hard to compare them. However, some ceremonies deserve extra attention due to their individuality and magnificence. In Sevilla, the cofradías (religious brotherhoods) parade through the old town with an elaborately decorated statues of Virgin Mary. Malaga’s tradition to relieve a prisoner and the concerts of Cuenca taking place in the cathedral are definitively remarkable! Moreover, breathtaking parades are organized in Madrid, Valladolid, Elche and Logrono.

Traditionally, Catholics don’t consume meat during Semana Santa. A lot of people end up eating fish with vegetables or vegetarian dishes such as “garbanzos con espinacas” (chickpeas with spinach). When spending the Holy Week in Spain, you can expect a lot of special sweet treats for this occasion. Torrija, which is a fried bread dipped in egg and milk served with sugar or honey, and pestiños, which are fried, honey-glazed pastries, are just examples of what Spaniards love to eat for Semana Santa. Typical for Semana Santa in Valencia and Catalunia is a cake with a lot of decorations called “la Mona de Pascua”.

Experience Spain in a completely different atmosphere and get stunned by the breathtaking processions! Contact us and let us organize your trip to Spain during Semana Santa!

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