Easter is a very special and popular festivity in Spain. Every region celebrates this week preserving its traditions and culture, people go out to the streets to be part of the peculiar processions and representations. During this week Spain is totally transformed, during all day and night long there is a stimulation for all senses at the rhythm of the drums, with the colours of the flowers, the smell of the incense, the art of the figures and the emotion of the fraternities (Cofradías) over the streets.
The Holy week in the South of Spain, Andalusia, is recognised to be very fervent and very emotional. The most well-known example of this is Seville, where people sing and recite to the processions and their brotherhoods. On the other hand, the celebrations on the North of Spain are recognised to be more solemn, like the ones in Salamanca or Zamora.
This festivity is celebrated during March or April, the date varies each year, it starts before Lent with “Domingo de Ramos” (Palm Sunday). This year Holy Week starts today; unfortunately, because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we can’t celebrate it at the streets as usual, but we sure can celebrate it at home and get to know more about it.
We will share with you some different places in Spain that have very special and unique Easter traditions, some of them are already International Tourist Interest Celebrations and some are very curious to see.
The Easter Week in Extremadura is widely recognized nationally as well as internationally for the great passion and the intensity with which people live it as for the beautiful settings and special activities that take place here.
Easter in Merida
Merida is the capital of Extremadura Region and is best known for its Roman and high cultural legacy. The most amusing thing about this celebration is that it takes place in a city that can reminds of history for the scenary. The Via Crusis or Way of the Cross, is probably one of the most emotional activities of the whole week: it takes place during dawning, in the Roman Amphitheatre, which is one of the city’s main highlights, illuminated with candles in form of a cross with all the people in silence just praying.
Via Crusis - Way o The Cross
The entire archaeological complex of the city has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993 and its penance procession has been declared International Tourist Interest Celebration.
Easter in Caceres
Caceres is a charmed city that will transport you to medieval times. During Holy Week, its streets are an amazing scenery to watch and live the processions since they take place in the historic city centre that was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. One of the most relevant penance procession is the one of the Black Christ over the Cross that goes over the entire city centre. Another special activity is the representation of the Passion of Christ in the streets on Thursday. For this and more, this festivity has earned the title of Fiesta of International Tourist Interest, in recent years.
There are some cities in this region that has marvellous historical and monumental centres, preserve its local traditional celebrations and fervour like Badajoz, Jerez de los Caballeros, Plasencia, Trujillo and Zafra.
On the other hand, there are very unique celebrations and special events taking place during these days. The Living Passion of Oliva de la Frontera is a dramatic and exceptional experience wherein the locals of this city come together as actors to showcase Jesus Christ’s Passion on the streets. This event has been declared as a National Tourist Interest Celebration.
Video Oficial de la Pasión Viviente - Ayuntamiento de Oliva de la Frontera
In Valverde de la Vera takes place “Los Empalaos”, where people take a plow rudder tied up to their arms and goes in procession at midnight on Thursday motivated for a promise or offer made to God.
There are many other local and different celebrations like:
1. Chiviri in Trujillo is a celebration on Easter Day where the people dress up with traditional regional costumes.
2. "La Carrerita" in Villanueva de la Serena is on Easter Day as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. The brotherhood carries the image of the Virgin to meet up her son, in a fast run.
3. Piedraescrita pilgrimage in Campanario displays a festive parade on Easter Monday with wagons and horses and afterwards, the pilgrims visit the virgin shrine and enjoy a picnic in the surroudings.
4. "Día de la Luz" is a horse race and parade celebration that takes place on Easter Monday in Arroyo de la Luz.
Easter in Spain is a time to celebrate traditions not only at streets but at home too. One of the most well-known Easter traditions in Spain are the “Torrijas” on Easter Day which you can’t miss during these days.
So now that you know some of the most original and unique Easter celebrations in Spain, would you come next year to live some of the Spanish real traditions?