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Spanish Sundays – Easter week or Semana Santa

Semana Santa is the Spanish name for ‘Easter week’ or ‘Holy week’. During the 16th century the catholic church wanted to tell the story of Easter in a way the average man could access. They chose to do it using street processions depicting scenes from the death and resurrection of Jesus. That tradition lives on now in colourful street pageants throughout the week.

Semana Santa Alzira

Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Despite appearances, the Easter parades are well structured and and each element carries its own symbolic relevance.

Drums being played in an Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Drums being played in an Easter parade in Alzira, Spain

Each segment of the procession in Alzira is represented by a different brotherhood, each bearing their own standard.
Most include a band playing sombre music, sometimes only a single drum beat. The strange looking hats are representative of mourning.

A standard is carried to indicate the brotherhood responsible for the coming part of the procession

A standard is carried to indicate the brotherhood responsible for the coming part of the procession

The heart of the procession is the ‘imagen’, a carried biblical scene depicting a section of the Easter story.

An imagen is carried through the streets of Alzira, Spain

An imagen is carried through the streets of Alzira, Spain

Spanish Sundays is a regular feature of this website and provides a window into life in Spain. To view¬†more articles like this use our on-site search feature and type “Spanish Sundays”. If you live in Spain and would like to contribute please send your article, accompanied by images, to submissions@ukteacherinspain.com


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