In two weeks it is Easter, when the Andalusians will drop their work and go back in time. Last year I wrote here something about it, but will go a little more into detail. Semana Santa is one of the most deeply rooted traditions in Spain and each year, it attracts hundreds of thousands of worshippers in the streets, along with tourists who come to experience these emotional days with processions in every little village and big city. Here are some of the most famous ones:
EL CAUTIVO DE MÁLAGA
Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo de Málaga (Our Lord Jesus, the Captive of Malaga) is the most revered image in the province. This work by sculptor José Gabriel Martín Simón gathers over a million people every year. During the procession, the statue in its characteristic white tunic moves in such a way that it looks like it is really walking. If you come to the city it might be a good idea to see the prcession on Easter Monday so you can contemplate the beauty of this sculpture and all the devotion that surrounds it.
LA “MADRUGÁ” DE SEVILLA
The “Dawn” of Seville takes place overnight from Holy Thursday to Good Friday and is the most special time during Holy Week. Two extreme devotion Virgins are brought out onto the street: one is the Esperanza Macarena (Our Lady of Hope Macarena), the other the Esperanza de Triana (Our Lady of Hope, Triana). The faithful wait all night, especially for these two images. Another procession not to be missed is that of the Great Power, called the “Lord of Seville”, which draws the looks and prayers of all Seville in its path.
THE LEGIONARIES OF MÁLAGA
This procession is the most colourful and well-known in the province. It takes place on Holy Thursday when in the morning, the 3rd Legion Tercio Don Juan de Austria of the Spanish Legion lands. After lighting the Christ of Mena and once night has fallen, legionaries accompany this procession to the sound of military anthems.
THE SILENCE OF GRANADA
Also on Holy Thursday, this procession is one of the most beautiful in Andalucia, not only for the quality of the image of the crucified Christ, but also by the unique setting of the city of Granada. This Solem float can be seen at the foot of the Alhambra, on the slope of the Darro. One of the most outstanding features is the silence kept by both the penitent and the faithful in its path, only broken by the sound of the drum.
PASSION WEEK IN ANTEQUERA
Antequera is one of the Andalusian cities with the most religious tradition. The town has 33 religious buildings, including monasteries, churches and chapels, assets which mix well with the beauty of its surroundings. Next to this Antequera is home to Andalusian goldsmiths who have participated in the work of countless floats throughout the region. Processions are daily from Holy Wednesday to Easter Monday.
If you are in the province of Málaga during the Holy Week may be you should try to visit one of these processions, the solemnity of these floats and the size of their images will give you fond memories of this Spanish tradition.