This week is semana santa! One of the most important holidays in the country. Have you heard of this tradition and how important is for Spanish people? Let us walk you through it.
Semana santa or holy week is a festivity with centuries of history and tradition in which people celebrate the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a unique celebration that will give you feelings that you will never forget. In each region and each place throughout the country you will find the most beautiful processions celebrating the semana santa.
The celebration of Holy Week regarding popular piety relies almost exclusively on the processions of the brotherhoods or fraternities. These associations have their origins in the Middle Age, but a number of them were created during the Baroque Period, inspired by the Counterreformation and also during the 20th and 21st centuries. The membership is usually open to any Catholic person and family tradition is an important element to become a member or "brother" (hermano).
Andalusia is one of the regions in which semana santa is celebrated with more passion and devotion. During the 7 days of the festivity the streets are filled with amazing images of the saints and virgins that will be carried during the processions. Lights everywhere, the smell of incense and the sound of numerous drums and trumpets of the bands give a magical touch to the streets of the cities. You can not help but feel privileged of being there, experiencing this mystical feeling
Each city has several important thrones that will be carried in the processions. Althoug, of course there are some that are just icons in each one. To feel the excitement of the traditional and multitudinous “madrugá” in Seville, Feeling the passion with “El señor” o “El Cautivo” in Malaga. Walking behind “El cristo de los gitanos” in el Sacromonte of Granada. Witness “El encierro” in Huelva are one of the most amazing feelings you could get while experiencing the holy week in Andalusia.
In particular, the semana santa in Granada will captivate your senses. The origin of the processions is situated around the conquest of Granada in the year 1492. The processions walking through the narrow, magical streets El Zaidín, el Albaicín o el Realejo is one of the most beautiful scenes you can get of the city.
Between palms and olives, the city wakes up in el Domingo de ramos. With the first drumroll is time to receive the 8 days of passion, death and resurrection that will come ahead. The semana santa has been declared as holiday of international interest.
Spectacular, exceptional and exciting is Wednesday night or noche del miercoles santo since all the city is painted in purple, red and golden to celebrate 2 of the most important thrones that will make their appearance “El cristo del Consuelo” y “Maria santísima del sacromonte”.
In the high hills of the sacromonte, huges bunfires will light up the caves and houses of the gypsies to welcome “El cristo de los gitanos” one of the most beautiful processions to see. Not only because of the ornaments of the thrones but the real devotion the gypsies feel for their saint. Of course, flamenco and zambra are guaranteed to entertain the night.
The night of Thursday or Jueves santo is the magical night in the Albaizyn. In almost the same space you can find the most important virgins of the neighborhood “La virgin de la concha, La Estrella y La Aurora”. Meanwhile, the procession of The Christ of silence will totally captivate you with his respectful and spine-chilling silence.
On Friday or Viernes santo, thousands of granadinos will walk the streets leaving no space in between while they pray. On the same Friday at dawn, in “El convento de los jeronimos” there will be one of the most antiques performances “Las chias”. All covered in feathers and playing music will march
Semana santa is more than an event, is a feeling that all Spanish people and especially Andalusian treasure in their hearts and souls. Being able to experience it it´s something that you will never forget. So, go out to the streets and enjoy this one in a lifetime experience.