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Semana Santa in Malaga

Semana Santa in Malaga

La Semana Santa in Malaga

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Yesterday the Semana Santa officially started, which you probably have noticed. Plenty of people gathered throughout the whole city to celebrate the start of the holy week before Easter, marking as well the beginning of spring. During the whole Semana Santa, lasting officially until the 26th of March, many processions take place which are valued highly by most inhabitants of Spain. It is a week with incense, ringing bells, melancholic music and a lot of passion. A week of deep impressions which will give you goose bumps. At least it did by me.

I did know that the Semana Santa was a holy week in whole Spain and that they normally celebrate it intensively, but I had never expected and seen this before. In the beginning I was kind of overwhelmed, shocked and scared at the same time. So many people, so many statues of Jesus and Maria and people in costumes which covered their identity. I am not really religious so it was difficult to understand reason and the essence of the processions, but after reading more about it and watching a procession, I could see the Semana Santa from a different perspective.

During the processions the suffering of Jesus is commemorated. This is done by ‘hermandades’ (brotherhoods) carrying ‘tronos’ through the city with melancholic music. There are more processions per day, taking place at different times and at different places. Even in the nights some processions take place! In Malaga all the processions go through Alameda Principal, Calle Larios and Plaza de la Constitution. The ‘tronos’, translated as a throne, are mostly coloured gold and silver and decorated with flowers and candles. In the middle of the throne a statue of Jesus or Maria is placed. When it rains, the tronos stay inside. A very sad moment for the brotherhoods since now they have to wait until next year.

The tronos are carried by men wearing cowls, which differ in colour depending on their kind of paso and hermandad.  You might also encounter some men being blind-folded during the whole procession. Those are commemorating the suffering of Jesus not only for themselves, but also for an ill friend or relative that unfortunately cannot join them during the procession. Besides the carriers of the ‘tronos’ there are also ‘Nazarenos’. ‘Nazarenos’ represent the penitents and wear ‘capirotes’, which are pointed hats that cover their identity.

La Semana Santa in Malaga is a famous week celebrated intensively
La Semana Santa is celebrated by carrying tronos through the whole city
Semana Santa in Malaga is the holy week before Easter

Programme la Semana Santa

With this background information you will be able to understand the processions better. Let’s see what we can expect this week from the Semana Santa. We made a little overview of the most impressive processions each day. Yesterday it was Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), a day of Semana Santa full of processions of which Antonio Banderas joined one. He is member of Hermandad ‘Fusionadas’ and thus carried a trono yesterday. Today it is Lunes Santo (Holy Monday) which again has some impressive processions however it is not sure yet if those will continue today due to the rain. On Martes Santo (Holy Tuesday) one of the processions is the one of Hermandades ‘Humillación y Estrella’, who take the carrying of the trono to a next level by stretching their arms at certain points during the procession. The trono will overtop the crowd. As if those are not heavy enough already! Miércoles Santo (Holy Wednesday) is a notable day since the trono of ‘El Rico’ is carried with the help of three prisoners. This all started years ago when there weren’t enough men to carry the trono and they decided to let prisoners join them. As reward the prisoner received pardon. Jueves Santo (Holy Thursday) starts in the harbour with singing soldiers and a goat. The goat is the mascot of hermandad ‘La Legion’. This day the heaviest trono is also carried by ‘Esperanza’, from which they say it weighs 4500 kilos! On Viernes Santo (Good Friday) the lights are turned off in the whole city. The candles of the processions provide a special lighting. There won’t processions on Saturday and the Semana Santa ends on Domingo de Resurrección, with a procession of the thrones of ‘Resucitado’ together with all the brotherhoods.  

What are your experiences with the Semana Santa? We are looking forward hearing your stories!