Spanish Easter – Pascua, Semana Santa

In Spain, being a fervently Catholic country, (Holy Week) Semana Santa has deep significance. It is the culmination of Lent. The week commences with Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and ends on Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday), Good Friday is called el Viernes Santo.

During this week most Spanish towns mark the occasion with processions, where statues of saints and characters from the bible are carried aloft through the streets, often by people wearing costumes consisting of long robes and tall pointy hats which cover their faces. These people are called Nazareños, and are meant to represent the people of Nazareth. The mood of these processions is very sombre.

On Palm sunday worshippers attend mass, and the children take palm leaves with them which are then blessed by the priest. There is usually a procession depicting the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem where everyone carries large palm fronds. These fonds are later burnt, and the ashes are placed on the foreheads of the penitent worshippers on Ash Wednesday.

Throughout Spain, and indeed the spanish speaking world, most towns and cities celbrate Easter in their own distinctive way.