In Belgium, the week before Easter, the Holy Week, is a week just like any other. Except for a few Easter eggs and some family visits, we do not make much of it. It’s a different story in southern Spain.
La Semana Santa
La Semana Santa, the holy week before Easter, is indeed a whole concept in cities like Lorca, Malaga and Cartagena. It’s really something you should see with your own eyes. Especially the impressive processions, which attract thousands of visitors every year. The spectacle of the “penitents”, covered with their pointed masks, who sometimes literally hurt themselves to get rid of their sins, is a typical one.
Procession of the fraternities
In addition to the “penitents”, you will also come across the typical local fraternities. They are people from the same neighbourhoods, or of the same profession, such as fishermen, or carpenters. They carry large images on gilded tables, the pasos, each depicting a scene from the Way of the Cross. Other fraternities then lift a golden throne on their shoulders, the heaviest one of which is in Malaga, with a weight of four tons. No wonder the help of two hundred (!!) men is needed.
The horses of Lorca
It’s even better in Lorca. There, almost all the important scenes from the Old Testament are represented, with demonstrations with horses and carts. Lots of spectacles, tons of incense, melancholic music and forgiven sins. Enough to keep you busy during your entire Easter holiday.