Semana Santa: How Spain Celebrates Holy Week


One of the most fabulous aspects of owning property in Costa del Sol, Spain is that you get to be there for all the most important holidays and celebrations.

The most important of Spanish holidays is Semana Santa, or Holy Week.

Semana Santa is a week-long celebration of the Easter holiday.

The celebration began in the 16th century as a way for the Catholic Church to depict the story of Passion of the Christ so that all Spanish people could understand. It has continued to evolve since that time into truly stunning celebrations.

Intrigued? Read on to learn all about Semana Santa!

What to Expect in Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol is located in the coastal region of Málaga. This region is well-known for its elaborate Semana Santa celebrations. They celebrate like the rest of Spain with a wide variety of colourful religious and military parades, but they put their own spin on the celebration.

Here, they love their hand-carried floats called "tronos."

Tronos all depict scenes from the Passion, and they are carried by penitents in long purple roads. Penitents are people who have repented for their sins and have asked for forgiveness. Women wear black clothing and carry lit candles.

These processions are carried on in silence, but every once in a while the silence is broken by gorgeous Spanish religious music. 

Finally, Málaga caps off Semana Santa with the freeing of a prisoner, culminating in a blessing upon the convict by an effigy of Jesus Christ.

Take a Road Trip

Each region of Spain celebrates Semana Santa its own unique way. If you really want to get a feel for how Spain celebrates, you'll have to venture out on the road.

The most famous of all celebrations is in Seville, a short 2.5-hour drive from Costa del Sol. It's such a popular event that people come from across the world to attend the celebrations.

Seville is particularly known for its pasos — huge floats with life-sized wooden recreations of biblical characters. Some date all the way back to the 16th century. These floats are carried on the necks and shoulders of the cofradia (brotherhoods) that own them.

On Maundy Thursday, everyone gathers at Seville Cathedral to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Then, finally, on Easter Sunday, the celebrations in Seville transform from somber memorials into vibrant and colourful parades. Easter Sunday is capped off with traditional Easter foods like torrijas (Spanish style French toast) and pestiños (deep-fried dough glazed with honey).

Celebrate Semana Santa and More With a Home in Spain!

No matter where you are in Spain, the celebration of Semana Santa is a truly stunning experience.

From the parades to the traditional regalia, you have to experience Semana Santa to understand the true value of the holiday. As a bonus, if you own a home in Spain, you don't have to worry about booking a hotel to get the experience.

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