Semana Santa or Holy Week is from Sun, Apr 2, 2023 – Sun, Apr 9, 2023
Holy Week is the most sacred week in the liturgical year in Christianity. In Eastern Churches, which include Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Eastern Lutheran traditions, Holy Week occurs the week after Lazarus Saturday and starts on the evening of Palm Sunday.
Here in Spain, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is probably the biggest event of the calendar year. Far more important than Christmas or Day of the Kings. Most of the processions take place from Palm Sunday (Sunday before Easter Sunday) to Good Friday and Easter Saturday.
If you have never seen the Holy Week parades, then you are in for a treat. My first parade was way back in the 90s in the town of Algeciras. This is a city in the Cadiz province, not far from Gibraltar. The parade was very impressive and featured people carrying crosses, blindfolded, chained and some barefooted. Apparently, such people have made a special promise or are asking for divine favour.
Where is Semana Santa most popular in Spain?
Córdoba holds one of the most popular Holy Week in Andalusia. 37 brotherhoods take part in processions with elaborate “pasos (steps)” which represent the scenes of the events of The Passion of Christ.
What are Brotherhoods?
If you’ve ever seen photos of Seville during Semana Santa, you will have seen hoards of ominously cloaked figures. These people are a huge part of the culture of the city, we’re going to take a quick tour through the history of these people in Spain.
Family and tradition are hugely important to Spanish culture; family friendships (and feuds) go back generations; and it’s expected the children will be a part of the same clubs and groups as their parents. In Andalusia especially, this includes hermandades (brotherhoods). The brotherhoods of Spain play a huge role in day-to-day life, especially in the south, organising every aspect of the social calendar. But what are they exactly? And what does it actually mean to organise every aspect of social life? Let’s take a closer look. See a lot more information on the Semana Santa Brotherhoods.
Almost every town and village will have their own Semana Santa parades. Nerja is no exception. If you want to see traditional Spain during the most sacred of weeks, then you need to book yourself a place to stay Now!