The Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Málaga
Roman Catholicism has long been the state religion of Spain. Because of this, the country has many Catholic holidays, of which the Semana Santa is one.
Week before Easter
The Holy Week takes place in the week before Easter. This year it is between 14 April – 21 April 2019. The name ‘Semana Santa’ sounds festive, but actually this week it is about the Passion of Jesus Christ: the events before and during his Passion to the Cross. Nevertheless, it is very impressive to see.
Málaga has 41 churches. Every church has one or more brotherhoods. These brotherhoods are central during the Holy Week. Each brotherhood presents a part of the Passion of Jesus Christ in the form of a procession. The brotherhoods carry thrones ‘trónos’ with them where wooden statues of Jesus and Mary can be seen. All decorated with gold, silver and many candles.
These patterns are not worn just like that. They sometimes weigh thousands of kilos and that takes hundreds of men (portadores). It is said that the heaviest throne in Malaga but loves to weigh 5000 kilos. A procession doesn’t just end. It takes between six and ten hours to get from the starting point to the end point. At walking pace the parade goes through the streets of the city centre. They can be seen on the main street Alameida Principal, shopping street Calle Larios and the famous Cathedral of Malaga.
A procession consists not only of carriers (portadores, also called ‘hombres de tróno’). There are also women with black veils (matillas) and ‘Nazarenos’. During the Semana Santa the women are dressed in black. This is a sign of mourning. The Nazarenos will not escape you either. These are the people who walk with a high pointed hat. Their faces are also covered and that all has to do with penance. Sometimes they even walk barefoot. Are you visiting Malaga during the Semana Santa? Every year Málaga publishes a special guide with all the details that are very nice and interesting to know.
Semana Santa in Andalusia
Málaga is not the only city where these impressive processions take place. Seville is also known for its beautiful thrones and impressive processions. In addition to Málaga and Seville, there are other cities in Andalusia where Holy Week is celebrated exuberantly. Will you soon be visiting Almería, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva or Jaén? Then it is not to be missed.
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