The Holly Week is on its way and often we are asked by our guests what they can come across. Indeed there quite a few typical Andalusian things to see .
The main attractions of Holy Week in Andalusia are the processions. The statues kept by – of course the Catholic -churches during the year are taken out on a tour, mounted on beautiful floats and accompanied by beautiful floral embellishments. Images of Virgins, Christ and crucifixions among others, represent the Passion and death of Jesus of Nazareth.
One of the most widely-seen figures in Holy Week is that of women who wear mantillas during the procession, a traditional Spanish veil which is most-often used on the days of the Passion of Christ to show mourning and pain. A black dress, a sign of respect, is accompanied by a mantilla of the same colour. It consists of a kind of high comb called a peineta which is covered with a lace veil.From old ladies to very young girls are wearing very traditional costume.
Nazarenos are adherents of different religious brotherhoods that accompany their images in procession. Their outfit is none other than a robe and cape accompanied by a capirote, a type of conical hat that, in most cases, covers the face. Also known as penitents, they are responsible walking in front of the images holding candles and incense. They are one of the symbols of Holy Week, so you won’t be able to ignore them. (And no they have nothing to do with the KKK)
Undoubtedly one of the most significant cultural events of Holy Week is the singing of saetas to images that are being paraded. This is a type of traditional religious singing which takes place during these days of Passion and resembles flamenco. The saetero(singer) has to have a strong and powerful voice which is filled with emotion as it is sung without musical accompaniment and is aimed towards the image in the procession that is passing by.
Every float and procession includes its own musical accompaniment. Throughout the year, bands rehearse the traditional Holy Week melodies giving them a sad sound. Trumpets and drums are the instruments most commonly used. It is very important for all of the processions except those known as “silent”. On those, you will only hear the Nazarenos‘ footsteps and the noise of moving float.
Since the weather has improved a lot the last few days there is enough to enjoy, even in the middle of the night as guests told us that in front of their hotel in Malaga at 04.00 am a procession was passing by.