Easter in Spain is wonderful, always with fantastic festivities in the Sun. You’re probably aware at how cultural and lively the Spanish are. They’re world-famous for hosting countless colourful celebrations and fun festivities throughout the year. However, Easter really is something special across Spain.
To get a real taste of traditional Spanish fiestas, you should really go out and join in with local Semana Santa celebrations.
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What is Semana Santa?
Semana Santa, which we know as Easter Week, is the annual commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Easter in Spain is a noisy and passionate Catholic religious festival. It sees brotherhoods from churches all over Spain perform processions during the last week of Lent around their villages, towns and cities.
This year, the festivities run from Palm Sunday, on March 25, to Easter Sunday, on April 1st.
Why is Easter in Spain so special?
Whether you’re religious or not, there’s always something to enjoy when you join in the epic celebrations of Semana Santa.
Whilst beautiful and majestic, these celebrations are meant to instil religious passion, and evoke a sense of wonder, and humbling devoutness. However, they also arouse excitement and entertain people through cheerful music, colour and sparkling lights.
The air becomes thick with the intoxicating smells of orange blossoms, beeswax and incense. Bustling crowds, dressed up in their finery, may leave you jostling for room, but you’ll watch in amazement as elaborate processions cascade through the winding streets.
Marching bands play music which will stir your soul, and images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ will touch your heart. Impressively beautiful floats, depicting scenes from the Bible, add to the splendour. Eerie costumes of the Nazarenos will transport you back into a strange, archaic and religious world.
Where is the best place to visit to see a truly amazing Easter in Spain celebration?
Although the style and mood of Easter Week varies from place to place, the basic components remain the same.
For a more glamorous celebration, the region of Andalucia hosts some breathtaking fiestas, whereas those in Castile-Leon are more solemn – after all, this is a religious holiday.
Here are our Top Three locations to experience a truly spectacular Semana Santa.
The Easter Week celebrations in Mojácar are exquisite, it’s a place where you can really feel the strong community spirit.
Processions of blacks, dark blues and rich purples are set against the glistening backdrop of Mojácar’s whitewashed houses, and glorious choral singing fills the air.
The celebrations here exude a mournful beauty, but things liven up in the evenings and the small village normally hosts a number of magical events for children to enjoy.
Seville arguably holds some of the most elaborate processions during Easter Week. It’s at night time when these festivities really come alive here.
Renowned for its unique wooden pasos, these lifelike painted sculptures, weighing more than a metric ton, are carried by a large group of costaleros, men wearing headdresses which resemble sacks. This makes it look like the statues are walking on their own.
The air becomes thick with smoke, and inspiring classical music is played loudly as the processions continue from dusk till dawn. For many in Seville, and across Andalucia, Semana Santa is more than just religious processions, as Easter Week marks the arrival of Spring and many bars and restaurants will host parties, to continue celebrating in their own way.
To see an award-winning fiesta, Zamora is the place to go. It’s the oldest celebration of its kind in Spain, and the processions are dark, moody, and sombre.
Candles and incense are replaced with medieval fire torches, and male choirs are used instead of marching bands. To get a real taste of traditional Spain, or to feel like you’ve stepped back in time, you really should spend a day of Easter Week here.
What types of food are available during Easter in Spain?
No celebration is ever complete without indulging in some truly special foods and drinks. Rather than binging on chocolate eggs and sweets, the Spanish prefer puddings and pastries.
It’s always worth asking the locals to point out their favourite Easter Week bakeries, because then you may try things most Brits miss out on.
It’s highly recommended to try torrijas, slices of bread dipped in egg, then soaked in wine or milk, before being fried and sweetened with sugar or cinnamon.
Another delectable treat are the pestinos, fried honey-glazed pastries.
A lot of sherry is drunk at this time of year in Spain, particularly in the South, and if you can, the Manzanilla is well worth a glass. It’s a variety of fino sherry that takes its name from its notes of delicate chamomile tea.
Remember, it’s not just Semana Santa that Spain is famous for, there are loads of other festivals to see. For instance, the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, or La Tomatina, The Tomato Throwing Festival, in Bunol, Valencia.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on another, unique and amazingly vibrant Spanish fiesta, book your removals from the UK to Spain with us, now!
Photo Credit: Nazarenos – Carlos