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Holy Week in Spain

Updated: Jun 15, 2021

Holy week is one of Spain’s most important celebrations, and it is the perfect week for tourists to discover more about this incredible country and its culture. Holy week in Spain starts with “Domingo de Ramos” (Palm Sunday) and ends with Resurrection Sunday. This whole week is about the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This celebration is also part of many other countries, mainly Hispanic countries. However, Spain has a unique way of celebrating, and that’s why this is one of the biggest festivities and traditions in the country. In this article, I am bringing you a few of the activities that take place during this week and some destinations that are worth visiting.

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1. The Processions

This event takes place all over the country. It consists of a religious parade that occurs on the streets of Spain’s small towns and cities, where the so-called “Costaleros” carry images of Jesus’ death and passion on their shoulders. You can enjoy this event in almost every town in Spain. However, Sevilla hosts one of the biggest parades. This procession is called “Madruga del Viernes Santo,” which is celebrated at midnight on the Friday of Holy Week to commemorate Jesus’ death.


2. Holy Week in Malaga

During this week, one of the most famous acts is the one that happens in Malaga: a real-life prisoner is set free, which is one of the most emotional moments of the celebration. They usually take a prisoner that has committed a minor crime. The legend behind this is that during the black plague, there were not enough men to carry the images of Jesus during the procession, so they chose prisoners to do it. Later on, they escaped after the march. There are many theories on how this tradition started, but one thing is certain, this is one of the most famous practices all over Spain.


3. Holy Week in Valladolid

Thanks to its pleasant aesthetic and immense religious importance, Holy Week in Valladolid was declared a national touristic interest by Spain’s government. The genuine curiosity for this celebration in Valladolid started in the 20th century. The festival is quite famous for its “Cofradias” (a group of people with religious interests). To this day, there are about 20 Cofradias in the city that do different typical processions for this time of the year. They use sculptures from the National Sculpture Museum of Valladolid, which makes it even more special, transforming the city into an authentic outdoor museum.


4. Holy Week in Lorca


Lorca Spain has one of the most unique Holy Week experiences, and it is because when you see the parades, you’ll be able to see live recreations of biblical passages, so you will feel as if you were on a live play.


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5. Symbols and other traditions

During this week, certain symbols and traditions are pretty significant, like the bread and wine that translate to the blood and body of Jesus, the palms representing the victory and arrival of Jesus, and the washing of the feet that means modesty. However, one of the most famous traditions doesn’t have a lot to do with Jesus, but with food: the Torrijas, a favorite dessert in Spain during this time of year. They consist of bread soaked in milk or wine, fried and sweetened with honey or sugar; this was a way to use the leftover bread during lent, where no meat was allowed to eat. You’ll find them anywhere, especially during this week, so make sure you try them.

Photo: Ultimedia

Every one of these traditions is unique in its own way and worth seeing, especially if you consider yourself a religious person. But even if you are not, Spain gives you the chance to dive deeply into their culture with these events, so make sure to add a Holy week in Spain into your traveling plans; you won’t regret it

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Sep 12, 2023

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