Spain: Where Semana Santa Is At Its Best

Spain celebrates Semana Santa or Holy Week (a.k.a Easter Week) much more than most European countries and even among any Christian-dominating countries in the world. So, if you are planning to make this year's Easter Week a holy one, it would be best to spend it where the celebration is Catholically extravagant and religiously observe over the years – nowhere else but Spain.

Looking back where Semana Santa is initially celebrated: it dates back in the 16th century when the Church decided to present the story of the passion of Christ in a more elaborate way for the laypersons to understand. For that purpose, a series of processions through the streets depicting the scenes from the rise and fall of Jesus Christ were organized.

Today, the Holy Week processions are the largest religious festival in the Catholic world which takes place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Since, Spain holds the grandest celebration of Semana Santa, Andalusia, in particular, is the heart of the whole celebration; involving whole cities, towns and villages.

When you get to pay a visit in Spain to celebrate Semana Santa, you'll witness people are carrying statues of saints around on floats or wooden platforms, they are called costaleros. You'll also notice an atmosphere of mourning: it's as if the mystery of the passion of Christ is relived. Another eye-catching element in the spectacle are the marchers of the procession. They wear robes with hoods which meant to depict Nazare├▒os or people from Nazareth.

The Holy Week ends on the Easter Sunday, the day of Jesus' resurrection. The day is then filled with light and color as church and cathedral bells are heard ringing throughout the country.


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