Easter is not only about colourful eggs, chocolate bunnies and light-hearted bells; indeed it’s much more than that! Especially in Spain, where Easter celebrations are not taken lightly!
We all know about The Holy Week called la Semana Santa in Spain, which gathers religious ceremonies. Performances take place in the streets of almost every city in Spain. But although the celebrations in each region are similar, each has its own customs and practices. Easter is considered to be one the most important holiday in Spain being a Catholic country. It is a time to celebrate! The celebrations begin with the “Domingo de Ramos”, or Palm Sunday, and end with the “Lunes de Pascua “, or Easter Monday.
So if you are planning to travel in Spain at this time of year, here is a short summary of what you need to know about Easter in Catalonia.
- In Catalonia, the Easter events open the previous Friday with the solemn historical procession in honour of the Virgin of Sorrows that goes through the streets of the town of Bellpuig (Lleida) and the Girona towns.
- And then the “Domingo de Ramos” which is the day that commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. It is generally a date set for the traditional craft fairs and markets in Ramos, where palms, laurels and various types of ornaments can be found. On this day, the exciting procession of “La Burreta” which is the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem on a donkey with the procession, takes place in Barcelona. The processions go through the Gothic and Las Ramblas area, so keep an eye out if you are in the city centre.
- The Carnival called Carnestoltes in Spain which is an event where many parades, parties and cooking competitions take place in the city and its surroundings. This event has different names in different countries around the globe – Mardi Gras, Pancake Day, Carnival, and others. It is the period before Lent and is seen as the last opportunity to eat, drink and be merry before a Christian period of abstinence.
- On the night of Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo), the streets and squares illuminated by candles welcome the silent processions as a sign of sorrow for the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Verges (Girona) the impressive Dance of Death (Dansa de la Mort) is performed, which has been a tradition since the middle Ages.
- And finally the Good Friday (Viernes Santo) that will end the semana santa. The popular procession of the Santo Entierro takes places in Tarragona, where more than 4000 people participate. It is a festival of national interest. Characterised by its solemnity, the parade runs through the whole of the old town.
Wishing you all a very happy Easter!