Let’s start from the beginning, the Spanish word for Easter is Pascua.
If you are looking for some colorful eggs and bunnies, you are in the wrong place! Easter celebrations in Spain are no joke.
With more than 70% of Spain’s population identifying themselves as Catholic, Pascua is Spain’s most celebrated holiday. Almost every spaniard will take part in the festivities in some way.
Some curiosities to introduce you the Pascua:
– The fasting period of forty days that leads up to Easter is called Lent. Lent is called La Cuaresma in Spanish.
– The seven days leading up to Easter Sunday are called Holy Week, or La Semana Santa in Spanish.
– The first day of La Semana Santa is Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos).The word ramos means ‘bouquets’ and ‘branches.’ and in Spain, when you go to church on Palm Sunday you carry a palm
branch or an olive branch. Boys carry a plain branch and girls carry one that has been decorated with ribbons and sweets.
– Semana Santa in Spain dates back to at least the 16th century when the Church wanted to
present the story of the Passion of the Christ in a way that the average person could understand.
During Semana Santa people all over the country come together for religious ceremonies, honoring the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Now the question is, ¿How and where? Because even if its true that the Holy Week is a national bank holiday, this celebration is much more important in the south of Spain, because the religious tradition is more deeply rooted in this part of the country. So if you want to really feel the ceremony you need to know what city to visit.
Semana Santa in Andalucía.
The most magnificent and unforgettable Semana Santa celebrations in Andalucia take place in Sevilla and Málaga where the streets are taken over by extravagant parades and elaborated religious displays
depicting biblical scenes.
In Sevilla, you can not miss La Madrugà, a series of processions that take place during the night/dawn of
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Listen to saetas or outbreaking flamenco from people on balconies, so moved by the spactacle showing their real lament.
Women often wear the mantilla, a black lace veil worn high on the back of the head, and made it clear
red lipsitck and skirts above the knee were definitely not allowed.
Now we only need to arrange a couple of things before leaving, some suggestions to keep in mind before
you arrive and during your stay.
Tips for Traveling to Spain During Easter
Arrange your accommodation well in advance, the most important is to come with calm.
Be respectful, dress for the occasion. If you want to blend in and show respect to their traditions, dress as
if you are going to a Sunday mass. Understand that Pascua is a highly revered holiday and that people take their traditions seriously. Remember, despite the heat women usually dress modestly.
The number of visitors considerably increases during these festivities,in crowded situations it never hurts to take caution of your pertinences. Once again, the most important is enjoying your holidays.