A Guide To The Semana Santa, Spain

Of all the astonishing Spanish festivals, “La Semana Santa” (Holy Week) has obtained to be 1 of the most amazing — and really worth enduring. This week-extended spiritual celebration transpires annually in the last 7 days of Lent, the week promptly just before Easter.

Dating again to the Middle Ages, when the Catholic Church determined to current the tale of the Passion of Christ in a way that the laypeople could have an understanding of, the Semana Santa turned one particular of Spain’s most cherished property when it comes to tradition and custom.

The pageant can take put in metropolitan areas all over Spain, the Semana Santa stands out because of to its epic spiritual processions attended by countless numbers of people  — both locals and website visitors.

What Is Semana Santa?

Semana Santa is the Spanish celebration for the week top up to Easter. It is celebrated all over the nation with spiritual brotherhoods performing penance processions on the streets. 

Customarily operating from Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) to Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua), Semana Santa is the major religious celebration of the year in Spain, and it’s traditionally utilised as a way to demonstrate the story of Jesus to the laypeople.

The place Does The Semana Santa Just take Spot?

Christian procession of the Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain

Though the Semana Santa celebrations just take spot all around Spain, the most renowned processions occur in Andalusia — in particular in cities like Seville and Malaga — and in the Castile and León location.

Each individual town has its exclusive celebrations, and they ordinarily vary from every single other. Even though in Seville the festivities have a tendency to be much more extravagant and energetic, the area of Castilla y León characteristics additional solemn processions, which are ideal for the religiously-inclined traveler.

Aside from Seville and Malaga, there are extra metropolitan areas exactly where the Semana Santa festivities consider put, like Toledo, Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, and Valladolid.

When Is The Semana Santa?

Passion of Christ Sculpture, La Semana Santa, Spain.

The pageant requires spot through the week main up to Easter Sunday. Though the specific day improvements every yr, Semana Santa ordinarily falls in late March and/or early April.

In Spain, the festivities commence on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and last right until Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua).

What Comes about During The Holy 7 days in Spain?

Semana Santa in Spain.

Just one of the most crucial elements of Semana Santa is the spiritual processions. Just about every day of the week, the regional brotherhoods parade during the metropolis followed by the hypnotizing appears of drums and coronets of the marching bands.

The processions are made up of countless rows of nazarenos, or penitents, who bit by bit wander carrying candles, torches, wood crosses, and lavish “Pasos”, or floats.

Deemed as a person of the primary things of the Holy 7 days processions, these elaborate floats are decorated with spiritual statues that depict scenes from the gospels associated to the Enthusiasm of Jesus Christ and the Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. By the way, numerous of these floats have been very carefully crafted by renowned Spanish artists and owned by the brotherhoods for hundreds of years.

An additional mesmerizing element of the processions is the common use of the penitential gown (nazareno) for some members. Even though comparable to those people of the Ku Klux Klan, they are wholly unrelated. These lengthy purple robes with pointy hoods (capirote) were commonly applied in medieval situations. Some historians even imagine that, all through the Spanish inquisition, sinners had to don cone hats and wander as a result of the streets as a type of community humiliation.

In Spain, the style and ambiance of the processions fluctuate in accordance to each individual town — in Seville, for occasion, the spiritual parades function breathtaking flamenco performances (saetas), which are sung from the balconies in the slender streets of the town.

Semana Santa Traditions

Traditional Spanish torrijas (French toasts).

Whilst the processions are the major component of Semana Santa, this spiritual competition also encompasses a pleasant maze of traditions. One particular of the matters that Spanish individuals appear forward to the most is the torrijas, which is a Spanish-fashion French toast eaten about Easter time. They consist of bread, dipped in milk and egg, then fried, prior to becoming sprinkled in cinnamon sugar or honey.

There are also the famed Easter cakes, or Monas de Pascua, which are generally eaten in the Catalunya and Valencia regions. Coated with candied parts of fruit and sugar, they can possibly be ring-shaped, or occur in the form of animals like snakes, lizards, and monkeys.

One more well-known sweet deal with which is eaten through Semana Santa is the Bueñelos, which are similar to modest doughnuts. They are deep-fried and sprinkled with sugar, and in Valencia, the Bueñelos are created with pumpkin.

Semana Santa is also an significant time for households, particularly on Easter Sunday, in which men and women typically go to the mass and have a wonderful food at home with their loved kinds.

Best Destinations For The Semana Santa, Spain


Procession of Holy Week('Semana Santa') in Marchena, Seville.

Of all Spanish locations, Andalusia is a person of the greatest to experience Semana Santa, with towns like Málaga, Granada, and Seville internet hosting the major and most opulent processions.

In Seville, for instance, the magnificent processions attribute century-old floats, thousands of Nazarenes, and can final up to 12 several hours. From time to time, you can listen to spontaneous saetas – usual Spanish spiritual new music with flamenco influences, generally done from a balcony. The city retains virtually 60 processions, with additional than 50,000 participants.

The Semana Santa in Málaga was declared to be of fascination to Intercontinental Tourism in 1965, and it is attended by thousands of site visitors from all more than the earth. In truth, every yr the Málaga born actor Antonio Banderas can make exertion to spend Semana Santa in Málaga, where he sales opportunities the Virgin de las Lágrimas y Favores (Virgen of Tears and Favours) procession.

As well as, the celebration is of these significance to Malaga, that the city is household to a museum committed to the celebration — the Malaga Holy Week Museum, which displays processional robes, thrones, and artwork related to the festivity.

In Granada, the processions are simpler, still lovely, and framed by the city’s spectacular environment.

If you really don’t want to be in the centre of Spain’s Holy Week celebrations, you can consider other towns in Andalusia this kind of as Cordoba, for occasion.

Discover Areas To Keep In Andalusia

Castile and León

 Representatives of all the brotherhoods of the Holy Week of Leon, known as Seise, at the end of the procession on Holy Friday.

Though the Semana Santa in Andalusia has far more of a “festive” atmosphere, the 1 in Castilla y León is significantly far more solemn. Apart from starting on a distinct date — two Fridays in advance of Easter Sunday— Castilla y León’s Semana Santa has far less processions.

But, even nevertheless the Semana Santa in Castile and León is extra austere and religiously oriented, the celebration is nevertheless viewed as one particular of the most significant cultural assets of the location, attracting countless numbers of tourists each individual year.

León, Salamanca, Segovia, and Avila, Zamora and Valladolid are some of the cities in Castile and León that are praised for their Semana Santa celebrations.

Locate Sites To Remain In Castille and Leon


Procession of the Penitent Knights of Christ the Redeemer, which takes place in the middle of the night on Holy Wednesday through the streets of Toledo.

Found a 50 percent-hour coach trip from Madrid, the historic metropolis of Toledo in Castile La Mancha, is one more excellent solution for individuals who want to experience the Semana Santa. 

The metropolis hosts some of the country’s most remarkable celebrations, which previous for above two months!

From Friday of Sorrows to Easter Sunday, 20 solemn processions go close to the city‘s narrow cobblestone streets, followed by crowds of folks who meander their way by means of age-old buildings dating back again 2000 decades.

Obtain Spots To Keep In Toledo

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