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Easter week is the holy week in Spain. It is also known as Semana Santa. Week-Long celebrations in Spain keep people busy. There is a spectacle of religious fervor, pageantry, solemnity, art, and raw emotion. Several processions walk through parish churches to cathedrals. Brotherhoods known as cofradias mark Easter week by bearing figures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. Colorful tableaus of bible scenes known as misterios on pasos carried on the shoulders of local people are also a part of the procession. The processions are accompanied by Nazarenos dressed in different hooded outfits in their cofradia’s colors. Easter is the most important religious festival celebrated throughout Spain but each part of Spain celebrates this festival in its own way. For example, in Castille and Leon, it is a simple and solemn event whereas in Andalucia it is a more colorful and exciting event.
Celebrations in Malaga
Easter celebrations in Malaga are the most famous in Spain. Here, people sing and dance. The beautiful images and floats combine with the colorful spectacle of the robes of thousands of penitents. The scent of flowers and incense diffuse into the air. Processions start on Palm Sunday and conclude on falling Easter Sunday. The Spanish Legion plays an important role in the celebration. Each year they cross the Mediterranean from the Ceuta base to take part with the military music and moves forward offering a unique scene.
Celebrations in Sevilla
In Seville, the Easter celebrations are solemn. The Easter floats are known as pasos and weigh over a ton. They are held aloft by costaleros.
A few other important Semana Santa Easter celebrations in Andalusia cities are given here for the people who wish to enjoy the real taste of Spanish Easter celebrations.
The most revered image in Malaga is of Nuestro Padre Jesus Cautivo de Malaga. It is a white-robed statue and is presented on Easter Monday. A large number of people visit the streets of Malaga to view the procession and enjoy the raw emotion of devotion in the area. The robe is said to give the statue the appearance of walking.
The dawn in Seville is really a beautiful occasion in Andalusia’s capital city. The celebration takes place overnight from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday. The devotees stay up to witness the processions of the Esperanza Macarena and the Esperanza de Triana.
If you visit Granada during the Easter celebrations, you will have a different experience. The penitents and observers maintain complete silence and are broken by the somber drum beat. The image of the Silent Christ wends its way through the beautiful city of Spain. It is a tradition to extinguish all lights along the route. The spectacle is illuminated by candlelight that adds peace to the surroundings.
In Cadiz, on Palm Sunday, the children are the focus of events. The children are the main part of the La Borriquita procession. Kids bear olive branches and palm fronds move with the float that symbolizes Jesus entry into Nazareth. Participation of children in the procession makes the event a light-hearted and joyful.
These are just a few glimpses of the events that take during the Easter celebration throughout Andalusia. There are many more processions in the towns and villages across the region. It is worth taking part in one of the events and immerse yourself in the religious celebration.