If you buy a property in Spain, you will immerse yourself in Spanish culture and will find the Spaniards love a Fiesta (party) and are passionate when it comes to religious celebrations.
Holy Week (Semana Santa) which runs from 2nd to 9th April 2023 is the biggest religious celebration of the year in Spain, which means public holidays, a good deal of eating and drinking and lots of processions. Easter is a time for Spaniards to take to the streets and watch elaborate re-enactments of the Passion of Christ, as well as enjoy some time off work in the company of their families and friends.
Elaborate processions take place throughout Holy Week. Associations known as cofradías or ‘brotherhoods’ (whose members take part in the processions) are a strong tradition in Spain, with many dating back to the Middle Ages.
Semana Santa processions are also known as ‘penance processions’ and involve members of the brotherhood (nazarenos) parading from their church to the city’s cathedral.
To spot the start of a procession, look out for the giant cross that is always carried at the front.
Music also plays an important part in Semana Santa processions – most are accompanied by live marching bands that play religious music.
People taking part in Semana Santa processions dress in traditional capirote – the tall conical hat which also covers their faces, as well as in belted robes.
Capirotes used to be reserved for people doing penance: as a sign of atoning for their sins, they would walk through the town wearing the hat, their faces covered so they could not be recognized as sinners.
Women often wear the mantilla, a black lace veil worn high on the back of the head, and have strict costume rules to adhere to.
In most Easter processions, participants carry large floats, or pasos, that are adorned with religious sculptures depicting Jesus or the Virgin Mary, some by renowned Spanish artists. The floats are festooned with flowers and candles and are the focal point of the procession. Many brotherhoods have owned and preserved their pasos for hundreds of years.
If you are after the most glamorous and ornate Semana Santa parades, look no further than Andalusia, especially the cities of Seville, Granada and Málaga. The region’s flamenco heritage seeps into its Easter celebrations, making for a fest like no other in Spain and one that attracts the most tourists.
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