Renowned for its Easter celebrations, towns and cities throughout Spain come to a standstill as grand processions of men and women bearing floats adorned with lifelike religious effigies parade through the streets in a representation of Jesus’ journey from Jerusalem to his crucifixion and resurrection.
From Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday traditional brotherhoods make their way through the streets of cities across Spain carrying tronos (thrones), many of which are centuries old and still preserved in their original state, portraying tales from the bible. The roots of the Semana Santa celebrations in Spain date back to the early 1500’s, however it wasn’t until the 17th century that the brotherhoods, that are so fundamental to the celebrations we see today, began to form.
Unlike many fiestas and celebrations in Spain which tend to be somewhat more colourful and flamboyant, the Semana Santa parades can be somewhat daunting to first time viewers as the celebrations can vary in energy and religiousness depending on where they are viewed.
Generally considered more authentic the parades in the north of Spain more serious and melancholy, whereas the further south you travel the celebrations become more vibrant. Throughout Andalucía Semana Santa is an exuberant week of religious celebration as the various church brotherhoods each meander through the cities streets carrying uncannily lifelike effigies on intricately detailed floats.
Semana Santa in Málaga
Semana Santa is a major event in Málaga’s yearly calendar and the city is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and visitors to witness the celebrations.
Altogether more flamboyant than the celebrations in the north, Málaga’s streets are filled with the sounds of joy and applause during Semana Santa whilst maintaining a feeling of religious dedication as brotherhoods, old and new, come together to make their way through the streets bearing their ornate thrones.
Málaga’s favourite son, actor Antonio Banderas, regularly returns to his hometown for the Semana Santa celebrations and can often be seen leading the Virgin de las Lágrimas y Favores (Virgen of Tears and Favours) procession.
There are around 40 processions throughout the week, each starting and finishing in their own brotherhood houses. Each takes a different route around the city but all converge along the Alameda Principal, Calle Larios and the Plaza de la Constitucion with some also passing Málaga cathedral.