Easter in Spain
As Spain is still a predominantly catholic country, Easter is a big public holiday. During this religious celebration, thousands of tourist and catholic people enjoy the time off work taking part in the processions of the brotherhoods and fraternities. The streets of all Spanish cities, towns and villages become the stage for religious devotion, combining music and art in colourful processions.
Easter celebrations start on the morning of the “Domingo de Ramos” (Palm Sunday), when people celebrate the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem and go in mass to church bringing palm leaves and branches to be blessed by the priest.
During the “Semana Santa” (Holy Week), whether you are religious or not, there’s always something to enjoy and take part in. Depending on the city, different styles of processions are performed. In most of the cities people come to watch the parade from the brotherhood of their church, which is accompanied by live marching bands playing religious music: this is called “cofradías” (processions). The “Tronos” or ‘Pasos’ (Floats) are decorated with religious figures covered in gold, silver, fine cloths and fresh flowers representing part of the Easter story. The most impressive part is that the floats and statues, which can weigh up to 2000kg, are carried by people on their shoulders during the whole duration of the procession, which can last more than five hours.
Each day a different religious image is represented by the Float. In Seville alone, there are over 100 of such images.
Semana Santa is the ultimate Spanish experience, which to be fully appreciated it must be experienced first hand.
As each celebration in Spain has its own dishes, here are some typical dishes that are prepared during the Holy week:
Traditional snack of Semana Santa. Made of bread soaked in a mixture of milk and egg before being fried. They are served with honey or sugar. Typical from Sevilla.
These are little pastries made with a dough flavoured with sesame, fried and glazed with honey or sugar. They are more popular in Andalusia.
Mona de Pascua.
This colourful cake is topped with eggs (boiled or chocolate) and given to children as a gift.
Flores de Semana Santa.
These are sweet, flower shaped fried pastries. They are also called “Flores Manchegas”.
Potaje de Vigilia.
Traditional stew made with chickpeas, cod, spinach and garlic and usually served on “Viernes Santo” (Good Friday).
Simple fried doughnut made with milk, egg and water. It can be sweet or salty.
From Northern Spain, this milk-puding is made with flour, milk and sugar glazed by a mix of sugar and cinnamon.
Cream-filled Spanish tarts shaped in triangle. Very popular in Madrid.