By Wendy Andersen
IN nearly every town and village there is a procession of flower covered floats carrying statues of Jesus and Mary, followed by Nazerenos (penitents) in costumes with pointed hoods, brass bands, and half the village.
It is of course Semana Santa.
Here we give a run down of what’s on around the region this week…
Head to Sevilla if you want pomp and glory at its height.
In particular, see the Virgins of the Macarena and Triana which appear at La Madrugada (early in the morning on Good Friday).
Don’t miss ‘los encuentros’ on Easter Sunday, followed by a gastronomic fair and an auction.
On Good Friday there will be a competition between rival fraternities singing Gregorian chants.
Fraternities, guilds and congregations turn the city into a new Jerusalem, with hundreds of penitents carrying their crosses with tears of sorrow.
Devotees march in silent prayer, while the Saeta prayer is sung from a balcony above, chains clank against ankles, and horns, trumpets and drums set the pace of the procession.
Penitents march with candles through the streets, kneeling, crouching, and standing as they make their way to the temple gate.
The air is filled with the aroma of early blossoms, burning incense and candle wax.
Head to the hills of Sacromonte to see the passage of Christ of the Gypsies on Wednesday (Miercoles Santo) where huge bonfires in cave houses form the backdrop to Gypsy dancing. Meanwhile Thursday night is the magical night of Albaicin.
Watch out for the act of ‘las Chias’ (characters from the Inquisition dressed in feathers and embroidered costumes) which takes place on Good Friday at the Convent of St. Jerome.
And in the breathtaking backdrop of Alhambra, don’t miss the ceremony at Santa Maria on Holy Saturday.
From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, numerous fraternities parade through the streets and neighbourhoods, representing the Passion of Christ from his entry to Jerusalem to his Resurrection.
Just before dawn on Easter Monday, up to 30,000 people gather near the parish of St. Paul to see Jesus and Mary transferred from their chapel to their processional thrones.
Monday night should not be missed, when the brotherhood of gypsies comes with its cheerful and somewhat unorthodox courtships from Friars Street.
A final tip
Wherever you are, make sure you get your shopping done Thursday morning as many shops will be shut until Monday as town centres close down in order to host the parades.
|Viernes de Dolores||Friday, March 30|
|Sabado de Pasion||Saturday, March 31|
|Domingo de Ramos||Palm Sunday, April 1 (Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem)|
|Lunes Santo||Monday, April 2|
|Martes Santo||Tuesday, April 3|
|Miercoles Santo||Wednesday, April 4|
|Jueves Santo (regional holiday)||Maundy Thursday, April 5 (The Last Supper)|
|Viernes Santo (public holiday)||Good Friday, April 6 (The Crucifixion)|
|Sabado de Gloria||Holy/Silent Saturday, April 7|
|Domingo de la Resurreccion (public holiday)||Easter Sunday, April 8 (Resurrection)|
|Lunes de Pascua (regional holiday)||Easter Monday, April 9 (Public holiday UK)|