‘Semana Santa’ (Holy Week or Easter Week) is not just a religious festival, but a deep-rooted tradition stretching out to the community as a whole, and in recent decades, a tourist attraction.
During this week, the city is paralysed by religious fervour. So if you’re counting on getting around without problems, or expecting to have restful sleep, it’s best to book a flight elsewhere for the week!
In the city of Malaga there are more than 40 processions between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, and one on Easter Sunday. Marching bands, images and Nazarenes in their pointed hoods will be in the streets each day between around 5pm and 4am, and in the morning on Palm and Easter Sundays.
In Malaga, the floats, known here as ‘tronos’, are carried on the shoulders of bearers who line up alongside the metal bars in front and behind the floats.
During these processions, the city’s ‘cofradías’ (brotherhoods) take out their carved images of Christ and the Virgin Mary, mounted on ornate floats, through the streets for several hours, each with its own marching band, and accompanied by members of the brotherhood, dressed in robes and pointed hoods in the colours of their organisation.
The processions begin at the cofradías before heading to the city centre, taking in a route that passes Calle Larios and Plaza de la Constitución where enormous grandstands are erected.
For many, Semana Santa is the culmination of many months of preparation and the highlight of the year. It is hard to argue with that; it certainly is a spectacle. And it’s fairly hard to avoid when it sounds like there is a marching band in your bedroom at 3 o’clock in the morning!
Semana Santa 2018 starts on 25 March.