Spain is well known for its Holy Week traditions (Semana Santa). Holy Week, the last week of Lent (the week immediately before Easter) sees religious processions, festivities, parties and traditions in all the cities around Spain.
If you visit any of the events during Semana Santa you will most likely see the penitential robe worn by many of the participants in the processions – Nazareños, people from Nazareth. This consists of a tunic, a hood with conical tip (capirote) used to conceal the face of the wearer and sometimes a cloak. The exact colours depend on the particular procession.
Easter Dates 2017
Thursday 13th April – Maundy Thursday
Friday 14th April – Good Friday
Sunday 16th April – Easter
Monday 17th April – Easter Monday
Semana Santa in Murcia, Cartagena & Lorca
Easter is a perfect time to visit Murcia to see a traditional Spanish fiesta, Semana Santa, the ornate wooden sculptures of the city’s famous artist, Salzillo, are paraded throughout the city. Just after Semana Santa the Spring Festival (Fiestas de Primavera) is a week–long party that includes the outstanding Bando de la Huerta and the Entierro de la Sardina (burying of the sardine).
Head off to Moratalla or Bullas and enjoy the Tamboristas – the most noisy Easter celebrations we’ve encountered!
Murcian Websites to Visit
Debs Jenkins – www.NativeSpain.com
Get a map – Maps for Murcia
Easter in Granada
Granada is visited by many foreign tourists and also Spanish tourists during Semana Santa. The Alhambra has a set number of tickets it can sell per day, so book and plan ahead.
There are over 30 processions during the festivities, most loud and busy. If you prefer your procession silent go to the Silencio at midnight, from the parish church by Carrera del Darro, where all you can hear are the marching feet.
Many roads will be shut for the processions, so get your walking shoes on. Thursday and Friday are bank holidays and pretty much everything will be closed – except bars and restaurants – so enjoy!
Granada Websites to Visit
Molly Sears-Piccavey – www.piccavey.com/blog
Lyndsay for Toma Tours – http://tomatours.com/welcome-toma-tours/
Easter Traditions in Barcelona, Spain
Many Barcelona inhabitants head out to the country to enjoy the bank holiday weekend of Semana Santa, making the centre a little less hectic and a great time to visit.
Keep your eyes open for the pastry shops and bakeries which will have displays of chocolate and pastry artistry, including the traditional mona de pascua, a doughy cake with a hard boiled egg planted on top. I prefer the chocolate version myself. Of course avoid eating meat on Friday and enjoy some cod with chickpeas.
Barcelona Websites to Visit
Linda Rubright – www.thedeliciousday.com
Simon Harris – http://www.barcelona-travel-guide.info
Easter Sunday in the Canary Islands
Whether you’re heading off to Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma or El Hierro, the Canary Islands are a great destination at Easter time. According to Barcelona based travel agents, www.atrapalo.com, the Canaries are the number one European destination at Easter. Probably due to their excellent climate.
Holy Week in the city of San Cristobal de la Laguna on Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands fiestas. Lanzarote enjoys torrijas, sweet fritters of maize flour made with honey and cinnamon which are a speciality for Easter (though you can get them throughout the year).
Canaries Websites to Visit
Alex Bramwell – www.canary-content.com
Matthew Hirtes – http://matthewhirtes.com
Joe Cawley – www.joecawley.co.uk
Jack Montgomery – http://therealtenerife.com/
Sheila Crosby – http://lapalmaisland.sheilacrosby.com/
Enjoy Easter in Málaga
Málaga are renowned for their extremely large tronos – floats. Often these are so large that they can’t be housed in the churches, but need their own accommodation! Also look out for the Spanish Legion, Legión Española, La Legión or colloquially El Tercio, who take great pride in their marches during Holy week, in particular with their own band and honour guard on Maundy Thursday, which is very popular among tourists, locals and military veterans.
Mariane Elizabeth – www.eastofmalaga.net/
Lisa Sadleir – http://familylifeinspain.com/
Beautiful Easter in Seville
Look out for hundreds of balconies throughout Andalucía adorned with palm branches on Palm Sunday. Everyone dresses up for the occasion, men, women and children in their Sunday best. If you’re lucky you’ll get to enjoy the splendour from a balcony and watch the parades from a bird’s eye view.
Seville Websites to Visit
Kim Causier – http://becomingsevillana.blogspot.com.es/
See the Palm Trees in Alicante & Elche
Orihuela and Elche in the Alicante region are great places to see Easter parades. Most of the palms come from Elche which is home to 200,000 palm trees. Look out for the Diablesa, She-Devil, on Saturday! Or visit Torrevieja, the first town in Spain that had an international cofradía www.loscostaleros.com/
MyDestination – www.mydestination.com/alicante
Spanish Easter in Valencia
In Valencia they have Semana Santa Marinera – Maritime Holy Week. With 28 brotherhoods each with their own costume, a more relaxed and party atmosphere to the proceedings and the maritime district of Grao and Cabanyal buzzing for at least two weeks, Valencia is worth a visit during Easter.
The most spectacular processions of Semana Santa (as they involve all of the colourful Brotherhoods together) are: Act of Prophecy on Holy Thursday, The Procession of the Holy Burial on Good Friday and the Parade of Resurrection on Easter Sunday when the mood definitely lightens.
Valencian Websites to Visit
Paddy Waller – www.thespanishthymetraveller.com
Graham Hunt – www.valencia-property.com
Lucy Doran – www.sepiavlc.com/semana-santa/
The Tamboristas in Moratalla