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martes, 26 de marzo de 2013




Holy Week: Easter in Spain.
 
Holy week procession
 
Spain celebrates Easter Week much more than most European countries. During the whole of Semana Santa, (Holy Week), street processions are organised in most Spanish towns each evening, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. People carry statues of saints around on floats or wooden platforms.  The Easter week processions end with Easter Sunday, a day full of light and colour when church and cathedral bells are heard ringing throughout the country.
Holy week procession
Each day there is a number of processions, one from each brotherhood in the city, made up of floats which are carried from their church to the cathedral and back again. Each procession is different and each one has its own particular followers, either due to the location of the church or the exact nature of the procession (the presence of or type of music, the time of day, etc).
Easter Sunday in Elche
Easter Sunday in Elche
 
In the processions, marchers usually wear clothes that cover them totally, also their faces. This garment consists in a tunic, a hood with conical tip (capirote) used to conceal the face of the wearer, and sometimes a cloak. The exact colors and forms of these robes depend on the particular procession. The religious fraternities and brotherhoods are responsable for carrying the statues and organising the penitents and musicians. The marchers follow the people who carry the floats bearing sculptures and models of biblical scenes.
 
Holy week procession
 
 
The people who carry the weight of the floats are called "costaleros" and are expected the carry these "thrones" with solemnity and grace.
Although the majority of the population in Spain is considered Catholic, actually only 10 percent are practicant. However, the catholic traditions like Holy Week processions have an important follow-up. It is a mixture of tourist attraction, tradition and religion.
 
Holy week procession

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