ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF SEMANA SANTA
With 75 percent of the Spanish following Roman Catholicism, Christian festivals have always been celebrated all over the country. Semana Santa is the most significant celebration of the year and transforms the whole country into a life-time experience. The origin of the holy festival was found with the revivification of Jesus Christ three days after he died. The week-long celebrations include various rituals linked to the religious background. The rituals are representing life, colour and music and have developed Semana Santa over the centuries to an absolute incredible week.
source: Valencia ciudad
The exact dates of the Holy Week differ from year to year as the feast is attached to a cosmic phenomenon. However, the celebrations can never take place before the 22nd of March or after the 25th of April.
SEMANA SANTA NOWADAYS
During Semana Santa, ceremonies and processions can be found even in the smallest towns of Spain. Starting on Palm Sunday with special parades marking the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, the Holy week continues for the rest of the week and is ruled by stunning processions lasting up to 14 hours. Floats of the Virgin Mary and of a scene from Christ’s Passion, are carried by the so-called costaleros (members of brotherhoods). Nazarenos in special hoods symbolizing the people’s rise towards heaven follow the costaleros. The ceremony climaxes when the float exits and enters the church.
Each region has its own traditions and the celebrations and processions vary a lot from each other. However, all ceremonies are beautiful and full of emotions. Nevertheless, some parades deserve extra attention due to their individuality and magnificence such as the parades in Sevilla, Malaga, Madrid and Valladolid.
HOW TO LIVE SEMANA SANTA
Semana Santa is celebrated all over Spain. Experiencing Spain during the Holy Week is unique and absolutely breathtaking. Even though its historical background is religious, you don’t have to follow Roman Catholicism beliefs to enjoy Semana Santa.
If you got interested in experiencing Semana Santa, do not hesitate to contact us!