Semana Santa in my village Villanueva del Arzobispo in the south of Spain involves celebrating and re-creating the last days of Christ’s life, spending time with friends and family, drinking (a lot!) and eating delicious food. On each day there is a different theme.
Sunday: the first parade and tapas
Easter (semana santa in Spanish) starts on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday). This is the first parade day. Everyone in the village goes to the Church at 6pm to see the parade coming out - then we run and find a bar to have a drink! This first day involves three hours drinking beer and eating tapas with friends - the tapas where I live are really amazing!
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: chill with family and friends
During these days we all enjoy a much needed rest and prepare for the long weekend ahead. We all spend time with your family and friends eating the traditional Spanish sweets.
Thursday: parades start
On Thursday the parade starts at 6pm. Unless you’re a musician, all the men and boys hold the throne. After this we all go to the bars and pubs (again!) until the next parade on Friday morning.
Important date: after and during this parade you can see the people repenting their sins while walking the whole route barefoot.
Friday: parades continue
Friday is the busiest day. Starts at 5am and we have our third biggest parade of the week: three thrones (Jesus, Juan and Virgen Maria) are carried throughout the streets until noon. Then we either go to bed or go for some beers.
At 6pm is the most emotional parade for me because the throne is about the crucifixion. Most of my friends hold this throne. After this we have two thrones remaining which are carried at around 9pm. This is my favourite one! These are called ‘Virgen Maria’ and ‘Virgen de los Dolores’. You can see Virgin Maria crying after Jesus has died. A lot of people sing towards the Virgin, these songs are called ‘Saetas’. The tapas at the end of the night consists of fish because during Lent, you can’t eat meat on Good Friday.
Saturday: more drinking!
Saturday is the time to drink and rest. There is an important tradition in the village where we start drinking at noon. This is called ‘echar la liga’ which means to kick off the league! We start this by drinking two or three beers. After this the Champions starts. This is almost like the Champions League, a huge competition to see who can drink the most! This finishes when your body has had enough.
Sunday: the last parade in colour
Our easter week in Spain is over! The last parade is at 11am and has two thrones. All the people that have sinned are no longer wearing hoods and instead they wear the colours of the parades. The colours are white and green, purple, white and red and black.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your time in Spain over Easter and have a lovely Easter yourself whatever you may be doing.
If you want to participate in the next parades in Spain and get to know the locals then why not start learning Spanish with us here in London? Our Level 1 courses start three time throughout a year and run over ten weeks blending classroom learning and practical social events. Enrol online here.
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