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Posts Tagged ‘santa semana holy week in spain celebration culture holidays’

easter –  “semana santa”, is the most significant, authentic and emotive  celebration in spain, that always means  big festivals and parades all over the country. easter annually boasts of rich heritage, culture and merriment.

the historical routes of celebrating easter in spain began from the death of jesus.  with the centuries the traditions remain the same but developed also. the evolutionary results of this we can see nowadays in every corner of the country within the holy week.

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during the holy week catholics all over spain celebrate this event with processions and ceremonies. especially big and rich parades are organized in sevilla,  málaga,  madrid,  salamanca, logroño… video filmed in logroño:

the celebrations start at the palm sunday and continues during the whole week. the dates of the holy week vary every year according to the calendar changes.

every day on the streets there are parades  and processions. in every procession the main roles are given to nazarenos and costaleros. they wear special costumes – long mono-colored coats with face-covering cone-shaped hoods.  though it immediately reminds to many foreigners about american ku klux klan, these costumes have nothing common with sinister meaning.

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these special kind of hoods, aimed to symbolize the people´s rise towards the heaven. though faces are covered – sign of shame of all their sins. sometimes participants can wear chains on their legs that aimed to remind how jesus has suffered. the hoods are removed on the eastern sunday, the day of jesus resurrection.

costaleros in their hands carry platforms, richly decorated with ornaments, paintings or sculptures with the scenes from bible, or scenesof suffering jesus and virgin maria.

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nazarenos are walking along with the procession,  often having candles or long wooden sticks. also sometimes nazarenos can be seen barefoot, though procession can last up to 4 hours.

travelling in andalucía during the holy week you can hear there “saeta” – acapella throaty song, full of passion and feeling. It is a serenade sung by some talented singers from the balconies to the image of the virgin Maria, that comes with the procession. during this singing the whole procession stops, until the song is over.

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easter food is another way to join the celebration.

“hornazo” – more tradition for the castilla or leon area, is a huge pie filled in with eggs, ham and meat. however sometimes there can be cooked sweet varieties of this dish – with eggs, sugar and almonds.

“torrijas” – eastern snack, similar to french toasts – bread slices soaked in milk, egg and fried in olive oil. after slices can be  dipped in or wine, honey and sprinkled with some sugar, cinnamon.

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“huesos de santo” and “buñuelos” –  are very typical fried pastries with different fillings, that are more common for madrid.

“la mona de pascua” – traditional eastern cake, often highly decorated. this sweet is very common for catalunia and valencia cost. these cakes are chocolate and have a toy on the top of it, what is especially loved by children.

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during the holy week meat is usually not eaten. instead there are varieties of vegetable or fish dishes and soups.

taste the unique and exquisite delights of the most important holidays in spain!

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