Semana Santa – Holy WeekEaster in Spanish is called Pascua but is more commonly known as ‘Semana Santa’ – or Holy Week – because Spanish Easter literally is a whole week of festivities and celebrations.
Among all the countless traditional and religious holidays, festivals, celebrations and festivities there may be in this country so famous for its ability to celebrate – Semana Santa might be the single most important celebration in Spain. From the smallest villages to the
biggest cities – this is huge!
Big and extravagant processions that go on through the week with masses of people parading through the streets in colourful costumes, carrying huge floats – tronos – with are often like impressive pieces of artwork portraying biblical scenes, as well as loud brass bands and drummers accompanying the floats through the streets.
Easter is of course a traditional religious celebration, mourning the crucifixion of Christ and the celebration of his resurrection. In Catholic Spain this is taken seriously and it seems that everyone takes part in some kind of ceremony. Either through the church, some of the many religious brotherhoods or other kinds of communal activities.
But however religious this Easter might be, this is still Spain – and in Spain there is always a good excuse to throw a party and to make everyone participate in the fiesta. This means this all becomes a cultural event also, with people having days off work, kids out of school, families get together, traditional family meals are prepared, friends meet, people travel – all of a sudden everyone seem to be getting together and celebrating Easter in some way or the other.
So all in all, the atmosphere around the Spanish Easter is both intense, dramatic and mournful – as well as it is a lively, festive pomp full of emotion and celebration. A remarkable event that is worth the experience.
Locations that are particularly famous for its Easter celebrations are: Seville, Malaga, Salamanca, Zamora, Valladolid, Lorca, Cartagena, Murcia and also places in Galicia and Catalonia. But generally you’ll find Easter activities in every town, city and village all over
A few practical advices about Semana Santa in Spain would be to prepare for masses of people filling up the city streets as well as hotel rooms, trains, flights and restaurants. Prepare your trip in good time, forget all about driving or parking your car in the cities and
try to make use of the excellent public transport. Most of all: Enjoy this event and fill your
heart and soul with unique opportunity to explore Spanish culture to the fullest.