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Los Alcazares, Spain
July 3, 2022, 10:09 am
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Easter Celebrations in Spain – Semana Santa!

There are so many things to do in Murcia during the Easter celebrations with all the cultural traditions of Holy Week (Semana Santa) that is special to Spain. This includes some amazing processions of people carrying an assortment of floats, wearing beautiful costumes, and conical hats! They often wind their way down narrow ancient streets, full of lots of character.

Semana(s) Santa

Holy week festivities usually begin on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and finish on Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua), and you are likely to find lots of different processions on each of the intervening days. On Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo), for example, all of the church bells are tied up so that they will not be rung again until Easter Sunday.  

Palm Sunday

Celebrations begin on the morning of Domingo de Ramos when people go to church carrying either a palm or an olive branch to be blessed by the priest (Sacerdote). Many girls will carry one decorated with ribbons and sweets. 

The Sounds

Some processions are hushed and quiet affairs while others are full of noise. Tronar de Tambores in Murcia is celebrated from the last minute of Holy Tuesday to Wednesday evening,  by making drums resound all day long (and night!). 

The Brotherhoods

Traditionally the processions of Easter week are organized by “Brotherhoods” (known as Cofradías).  They dress in “Capirote”, which are tall conical hats that cover the face along with belted robes. (Don’t be tempted to confuse them with the sinister group from the USA; they are nothing alike.) Each brotherhood will dress in a different color; so we have the Brotherhoods of the Blue, of the White, Red, and so on.

Processions Not to be Missed

In the City of Murcia, the best attended and arguably the most stunning of the processions takes place on Good Friday and is often called Salzillo day. The Brotherhood of Jesus (Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesús), numbering around 4000, all dressed in bright purple tunics.  Setting out from the Iglesia de Jesús at 8 am. The procession makes its way around the city carrying the amazing 18th-century sculptures by Francisco Salzillo arriving at the Cathedral about 8 hours later.

In Cartagena, Easter Wednesday is a great day to attend as there is a recreation of the trial of Christ in the early evening. Followed later by a huge procession which includes Roman soldiers and 18th Century Grenadiers, and more modern soldiers from the local naval base. The procession is a nighttime affair beginning at 9 pm and going on until 3 am.

In Lorca, Semana Santa is even more wow! With its amazing embroidered costumes and parades involving horses and Roman chariots. There are lots going on each day with the museums for each brotherhood all open to show off the fabulous embroidery. The main processions are in the evening and it is essential to book a ticket. 

Easter really is a special time in Murcia so come find your Dream Casa and get exploring.

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