As with all religious festivals, the Spanish embrace Easter with both reverence and a joyous passion, celebrating throughout the week with colourful, historical parades, and exciting family events. The traditions are honoured as enthusiastically within small villages as much as they are on the streets of their large cities; great emphasis is given to ancient rituals, as well as time spent with loved ones.

Known as Semana Santa (Holy Week), Easter is arguably the most important in Spain’s extensive annual calendar of spiritual and cultural holidays. Celebrations rarely differ from region to region and parades across the country are a spectacular and humbling sight that is always worth experiencing.

The city of Málaga is a great example of how Easter is honoured in the country, the capital is renowned for its incredible parades and first time spectators are often taken aback by the immense pageantry of the event. Their processions are organised by a large group of devout associations that join together each year to create a remarkable week of pomp and ceremony. Known as the brotherhoods or cofradías, the religious guilds are steeped in history with the oldest dating all the way back to the early sixteenth century. From Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, the brotherhoods perform many atmospheric marches in the capital, all with a different aspect but similar in essence.

Giant decorative thrones, called tronos, form the centerpiece of each cortege, and these large platforms carry figures that depict revered people or events from the past. In the Málaga festivities these floats are enormous and extremely heavy with some requiring two hundred and fifty people to carry them. The throne bearers, known as nazarenos, dress in sombre suits and conical hats; some are blindfolded and many will walk in bare feet. Strength and endurance is required to take the post of a trono bearer as the slow ponderous marches last for many hours, and up to one thousand nazarenos accompany each procession.

Apart from stages of the Good Friday parades that take place in silence, these displays are heralded by the sound of trumpets and drums, and sometimes a solo moving flamenco lament. Thousands of flowers are thrown by the public lining the streets and rose petals are strewn by spectators watching from balconies above.

The serious, spine tingling and sacred parades are the focal point of every Easter celebration in Spain and are complemented by special meals with family and close friends. Towns will also organise other cultural events including concerts and activities for children, whilst local bars and restaurants will arrange celebratory nights and special menus.

The main Easter Dates for 2019 in Spain:
Maundy Thursday – 18 April
Good Friday – 19 April
Holy Saturday – 20 April
Easter Sunday – 21 April

Posted by ReSales Online