Semana Santa in Spain

Semana Santa is a very important week in Spain. Even more import than Christmas.
In fact, the Semana Santa is the holy week before Eastern.

Semana Santa
Semana Santa

When is Semana Santa ?

During this week , Spain is very famous for numerous processions and events .
The Semana Santa is the Holy week in Spain.
The Holy week in Christianity, is the last week before Easter .
The Holy week includes religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Semana Santa is a religious festival

Semana Santa
Semana Santa

Spanish people are very religious.
So for Spanish people in the last week of the life of Jesus Christ is very important.
Processions are especially spectacular. And when you are in Spain ,

it is worth to see one.

Palm Sunday

On palm Sunday the Spanish people bring Palm to the church. There are also parades in the towns.
It is the re acting if Jesus entering Jerusalem after his stay in the desert.

It is the start of the Passion week .  The tale of last supper, the betray of Judas, the crucifixion ……

Good Friday

The good Friday parades are one of penitence.
It is the moment for the participants to  clean them of their sins.

It is a sort of procession, with the sinners bare foot.
Some times they beat them self. The drums give the ritme of the parade.
Different” brotherhoods” transport the life sized statues of each stage of Jesus  crucifixion.
Even when you are not a believer it is dark and intense.
Also it is impressing because every one in the town come to the “nearly funeral” parade.
It start at 11 at night.

The Capirotes

These capirotes are the scary  “sinners”.
They wear often also  tall hat covering their faces  and a gown.
There faces are covered of shame.

Nazareno, Trono, Seata  and Romans

Some of the people participating wear the Nazareno , the penitential robe of medieval origin. They walk in the processions as a sort of penitence.

In other Spanish city’s , the participants  they wear the uniforms similar as the Romans . It is a part of the history of Spain.

Processions are organized throughout the Semana Santa. Certainly the most spectacular are those on Good Friday.

One another element is the throne of trono.
It is a kind of platform, with many ornaments and flowers. Each brotherhood of a church in the city has one. 

The trono is very heavy.  Some with a weight of more than 4000 kilograms.
As already mention, on the throne there are sculptures with the scenes from the Passion.
The ” Passion week ” means the suffering of Jesus Christ before and during the Crucifixion.

Drums and trumpets

Nearly always the procession are accompanied by music. Mostly drums and trumpets.
In some processions  you can hear singing.
This singing of seata is a very old traditional Spanish song.

So, hundreds of local people are gather ar night and watch the processions of Semana Santa .
Mostly to applaud for their own “brotherhoods” with the members.

But lately , more and more tourist come to the processions .
So it become a point of national tourist interest  in Spain. Like in Sevilla or Malaga or Lorca or Cartagena.
Where thousands are gathered to see the processions of the Holy week .

What is a palm ornament on Palm Sunday ?

First, many family in Spain are really artisans .
Because, they  weave the traditional palm leaves for the Easter celebration.
The most of them,  who make this ornaments, start already working in december.

So, it is really  a unique ancestral tradition, who goes from mother to child. They pass it to the next generation.

As you can see, it is also a part of the Spanish culture. They use a white palm, and it is a protected sort of palm tree .

On Palm Sunday, you can see thousands of this white palms. Of course thanks to the work of this family artisans.

In fact, stalls selling the while palms are mostly situated nearby the church but also on the local market  the days before the Passon week.

Romans in the Easter parade

In some processions in the south of Spain , you can see Romans. For example in Cartagena and Orihuela .

Read more about this on our webpage Romans at the Semana Santa .

Monas de Pasqua

Eastern is for us , Northern people, chocolate eggs.

Instead in Spain they  got ” Monas de Pasqua”.
It is a sort of cake  in a loop  with toppings on it.

Some times a hard boiled egg  in the middle.
Often the cakes are completely covered with chocolate.
It is very delicious and very bad for you calories.

To conclude the Semana Santa

In brief, the Semana Santa parades are an authentic unique Spanish event. Even when you are not a religious is really worth a  visit.

They are more than a religious event.
Indeed, there are
an exceptional cultural event and a part of the Spanish heritage.