If you have ever thought of spending your Easter in Spain, I am pretty sure that you have already heard or maybe someone has already suggested you visiting Andalucia and specifically, the city of Seville. Easter’s week is said to be Seville’s main and most impressive fiesta.
The Seville celebration has existed since at least the 16th Century but is believed to have existed even earlier. It's a celebration which reaches levels of aesthetic and spiritual intensity that make it unique among all Easter Week celebrations. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, nearly sixty confraternities take to the streets to bring the Passion and Death of Christ to life. Those are of course the so called processions.
Plaza de Espana in SevilleAv de Isabel la Católica, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
The processions; all you need to know.
Huge statues (pasos) representing various images from the Passion of Jesus Christ take the streets in processions that last up to 12 hours. If you want to see the figures and processions better you should look for places away from the official route, which is where all the confraternities have to pass on their way to the Cathedral.
The processions are usually carried out in the afternoon and evening, having as peak time from 7 pm to 1 or 2 am, except on the night of the "madrugá", whose action starts at 1 am and ends about 12 o'clock the next day.
The brotherhoods (hermandades)
The actual participants of the the processions in Seville are in fact the members of the religious “brotherhoods”. They are organised by church and each brotherhood processes in a given day, time and itinerary.
The controversial dress & the conical hood
Probably the most famous participants of the processions are the so-called Nazarenos, wearing the most controversial dresses of the celebration (yeah, the ones that brings in mind the members of the K.K.K).
Rest assured, no connection exists between the two traditions. The unique dress was born from a desire to repent sins without revealing your identity, as the hood leaves only the wearer’s eyes on display. Given their mysterious look, many nazarenos will carry bags of sweets and give them to kids as they go by so they know they’re friendly!
1) A general rule if you want to see a brotherhood in a narrow street is to get your spot before the Nazarenes begin to pass , and of course to avoid placing yourself in the areas of crossing streets.
2) If you come with children, I recommend you looking for some of the less formal processions, which are normally taking place during the afternoon hours. It’s in fact really entertaining since children can be placed in the front row and ask for candies or stamps to Nazarenes.
I hope that I have more or less cleared your doubts and convinced you to attend one of Spain’s most iconic celebrations!
The Holy Week (Semana Santa) in SevillaSeville, Seville, Spain
Enjoy the Holy week in Seville!
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