Semana Santa in Spain
Semana Santa is the holy week of Easter celebrated with a passion here in Spain. It is worth noting that if you travel to Spain the week leading up to Easter many things will be closed or booked out. If you arrive this week there is also a good chance your taxi won’t be able to deliver you to your hotel and you may be carrying your luggage through crowded streets. However the benefits of this week are quite special. At the local tourist office you can pick up a procession schedule and see one of the many beautiful processions that people spend a year preparing. Groups leave a home church and parade through the streets for multiple hours the Gitano procession of Granada last about eight hours from 5pm to 2am, one of the largest processions of Seville last 14 hours from midnight to 2 the next afternoon. The processions seem to have two floats one of Jesus and another one of Marry these floats are in silver or gold with beautiful white wax flowers or fresh fragrant colorful flowers. They are carried by people beneath them. There are marching bands, incense burning , candles, women in black lace, and crowds who go from quiet and still to crying and cheering. The processions are covered on television and people cry when one is canceled due to rain--there is a great tenderness, passion, and honor in this tradition.
By Vanessa Petersen, AFAR Local Expert