Semana Santa, Holy Week Processions and Traditions in Loja, Granada, Andalucia, Spain

Semana Santa, Holy Week in Spain

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

Post Author: Topsy Turvy Tribe

Paul & Andrea ex-pats escaping the rat race with Chaos (aged 4) and Mayhem (aged 2) along for the adventure.

38 thoughts on “Semana Santa, Holy Week in Spain


    (April 15, 2017 - 8:52 am)

    What a sight to witness. Your photos have captured the ceremony of the occasion beautifully. #MySundayPhoto

    Darren Coleshill (@Photalife)

    (April 15, 2017 - 10:53 am)

    What an incredible looking event

    Have a good Easter and thank you for linking up


    (April 15, 2017 - 9:25 pm)



    (April 15, 2017 - 9:30 pm)

    That is an impressive event!

    Emma T

    (April 15, 2017 - 9:44 pm)

    Really interesting photos – if a little creepy with all the masks

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (April 18, 2017 - 7:39 pm)

      Thanks, glad you like the photos, our eldest was fascinated by the masks. I believe they were originally designed for penitents to seek forgiveness while hiding their identity.
      Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Semana Santa, Holy Week in SpainMy Profile


    (April 15, 2017 - 10:10 pm)

    Love the pageantry in all these shots. Those hooded penitents look very creepy though!

    Petite Pudding

    (April 15, 2017 - 10:14 pm)

    Wow this looks and sounds like an amazing experience. I can’t believe how heavy those floats are and how many people are needed to carry them #KCACOLS

    Cultural Wednesday

    (April 15, 2017 - 11:05 pm)

    Amazing photos, the Madonna looks like quite a load

    Coombe Mill (Fiona) (@coombemill)

    (April 16, 2017 - 12:27 am)

    What an education this is, quite the most impressive Easter parade.


    (April 16, 2017 - 6:20 am)

    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.

    Cathy Glynn

    (April 16, 2017 - 6:40 am)

    Oh wow, what a fabulous ceremony to witness. Happy Easter x

    Bear and Cardigan

    (April 16, 2017 - 7:53 am)

    What a wonderful parade and you have captured the moment beautifully #MySundayPhoto

    Victoria Welton

    (April 16, 2017 - 10:50 am)

    My in-laws have a place in Spain and they sent similar photos yesterday. Beautiful captures. #MySundayPhoto


    (April 16, 2017 - 6:56 pm)

    Wow, looks so interesting. I love experiencing other cultures.

    Imperfect Mum

    (April 18, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

    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 📸

    Hayley@ Mission: Mindfulness

    (April 20, 2017 - 7:49 pm)

    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


    (April 20, 2017 - 8:13 pm)

    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.

    Mummy in a TuTu

    (April 21, 2017 - 6:44 pm)

    wow stunning images as ever!

    That Mummy Blog

    (April 24, 2017 - 8:58 pm)

    Wow! This looks incredible. What an amazing experience for you all.



    (April 26, 2017 - 6:51 am)

    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!

    Peachy and her Mommy

    (April 27, 2017 - 3:26 pm)

    The floats look beautiful but I agree with some of the other comments. The hoods are creepy. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

      Topsy Turvy Tribe

      (April 28, 2017 - 11:04 am)

      Thanks for co hosting and commenting. I guess we associate the costumes as being creepy nowadays but they are very traditional and have been in existence for a long time

    KElly | and Jacob makes three

    (April 28, 2017 - 4:16 pm)

    This looks amazing. I’d love to go sometime #kcacols

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