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Apr 15, 2022 3 min read

Semana Santa - Easter in Spain

semana santa, spain
Semana Santa: Photo by Rick Huckstep

Easter in Catholic Spain is celebrated with a week-long series of processions that tell the story of the life of Jesus Christ; from his birth to his crucifixion and resurrection.

Semana Santa, aka Easter

I am not a religous person. I never have been and don't think I ever will be.

However, having lived in Spain for over 5 years I have seen religion in a new light.

Putting to one side whether you believe in God, Jesus, the Bible, and all that stuff, I have seen first-hand the sense of community, identity and social cohesion that comes with the religious package.

It is hard to explain in words, especially for a Brit. There is no equivalent religious celebration in the UK that I can think of.

You have to see it. Here are a series of photos that I've taken of Semana Santa in my town, Ayamonte and the neighbouring town of Huelva in the region of Andalucia.

Semana Santa in Pictures

Semana Santa begins on Palm Sunday. The procession, called a "pasos", celebrates the birth of Jesus.
The floats that carry a scene from the life of Jesus are extremely heavy. They are carried on the shoulders or back of the neck by 20 or so men, called "costaleros" It is physically demanding for the costaleros, with processions lasting between 4 and 8 hours. 
The "penitente" walk "in penance" in the processions. The cone-shaped head-dress (called a "capirote") covers the wearer's face in penance. The cone brings them closer to God.
Marching bands are an integral part of every procession. Except for "la madruga", the early morning. This is a silent procession that starts at midnight Easter Friday.

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