April 15, 2017
This week many places around the world will mark the Catholic feast of Holy Week to celebrate Easter.   In Spain,  predominantly a Catholic country, the stunning spectacle of Semana Santa is participated in, or witnessed by huge numbers.  Over a million line the streets in Seville to see the most respected brotherhoods or fraternities.  Decorative floats with religious statues and iconography are carried through the streets of towns and cities throughout Semana Santa.  The floats are considered precious masterpieces and the processions are steeped in ancient traditions.
Hooded penitent figures from different brotherhoods lead the elaborate processions and carry the the enormous and incredibly heavy floats on their shoulders.  The floats gently sway in a ghostly fashion, an incredible emotional and solemn effort of camaraderie to support floats, which often weigh several tonnes.  We were shown a float being prepared in Jerez which weighed one tonne and would be carried on the shoulders of forty people. There are exsisting floats weighing more than five tonnes and are carried by two hundred and fifty people.  So important is Semana Santa in Spain we have heard bands practising, and seen balconies, streets, churches and floats being carefully prepared for weeks in advance.
Previously we attended the Velez –Malaga Semana Santa, an amazing spectacle, in which you can line the streets and be a part of the procession rather than being a member of a huge crowd as in Seville and other cities.  We were handed sugared almonds and watched the local children making balls of wax from the wax candle drippings in the street.  This year we saw the palm Sunday procession in the fantastic coastal town of Mijas and the Maundy Thursday evening procession in Loja, both places in which you can imerse yourself, follow the band and stand beside the floats and witness the pain on the faces of those carrying their enormous burdens.
The atmosphere in Loja was electric, the cafés along the procession route were buzzing; as always an event in Spain is a family event, with so many families and friends of all ages socialising long into the night.  We followed the processions route into the old incense filled narrow streets of Loja to see streets of elegant ladies dressed all in black each holding a candle each to form a passage way full of light and throw flower petals for the procession to walk through whilst the following band of drums, trumpets, horns and flutes played on mournfully.
Semana Santa, an unforgettable experience.
Brotherhood Band, Semana Santa in Loja Granada, Spain
Brotherhood, Semana Santa in Loja Granada, Spain
Jesus statue being carried through the streets during Semana Santa in Loja Granada, Spain
Semana Santa in Loja Granada, Spain
Mary statue being carried through the streets during Semana Santa in Loja Granada, Spain

38 Replies to “Semana Santa, Holy Week in Spain”

  1. What an amazing sight and what an amazing event to be a part of. It is great to see Easter traditions holding strong in parts of the world. As ever, your images are amazing! Wishing you a happy Easter.

  2. I love this post! What an amazing sight to witness! I really love the gold float with all the candles. An unforgettable experience for you all. Thank you for sharing it with us on #PointShoot 📸

  3. Great photos and it sounds like a fabulous atmosphere. So nice that you can get involved in the procession yourselves. #PointShoot. xx P.S I love the new look of the blog – you are definitely inspiring me to go self-hosted too. xx

  4. Wow. Just wow. That’s very different from anything we do here. I’d love to witness this myself. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  5. I have seen documentaries on Semana Santa in Seville and have been amazed by the floats and the processions – very steeped in tradition. I would love to see this myself one day – I’d probably have to plan this trip a year ahead because from what I have been informed, the accommodations in the area are expensive during that week? Fantastic photos!

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