Semana Santa,Holy Week,Jerez de la Frontera,flamenco,saetas,domingo de ramos,Palm Sunday,Domingo de Resurreccion,Easter Sunday,Jueves Santo,Maundy Thursday,Viernes Santo,Good Friday,Virgin Mother,Christ,Nazarenes
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Semana Santa

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Holy Week

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penitents walk sometimes barefoot

cds of semana santa music and saetas available in flamencoshop Semana Santa (Holy Week) is in fact celebrated all over Spain from Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) to Domingo de Resurreccion (Easter Sunday), though some smaller towns only have processions on Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday) and Viernes Santo (Good Friday).

semana santa holy week


Major towns will have processions every night of Holy Week, each with their cofradias (lay brotherhoods) and penitentes (penitents), which incidentally have nothing to do with the KKK despite their pointed hats. The cofradias tend to have long important names such as Pontificia y Venerable e Ilustre Hermandad de Nuestra Madre y Señora de la Soledad y Sagrado Descendimiento de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo.

penitents and stands for the public

The procession is a serious affair and usually has two tronos (heavy religious floats) bearing valuable sculptures of the Virgin Mother weeping tears of jewels and of Christ, not always crucified. Preceding the pasos are hundreds of nazarenos - Nazarenes but just another name for penitents. They dress in long hooded túnicas (gowns) made of velvet and satin, and carry the flickering velas (candles) that leave the streets slippery with wax. Others carry luxurious sceptres.

float with Christ

candles on the float with Virgin Mary

Each trono is extremely heavy for the numerous throne carriers underneath who have to carry it along the route of the procession. In Seville and Jerez thet are called costaleros, in Malaga simply hombres de trono. In addition to the the valuable religious image, the trono has a lot of silver candelabra, aromatic flowers and richly embroidered robes which sway as the float creeps along its ritual path.



The processions are long-winded, so the brotherhood organisers set up tribunas (stands) where you can sit and watch for the price of an abono (seaon ticket).

street procession in Jerez




Music is important in the procedure. Bands of bugles and drums play marches and the procession stops at key points for a solo religious song: the saeta. The saeta (literally arrow to the heart) is an emotional cry and sung in the street. Its plaintive laments echo through the streets making us live and feel the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord.




plaza arenal jerez de la frontera


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