La eastern, or the Holy Week that precedes Easter, throughout Andalusia is an event of festivals and celebrations that involves entire cities and villages. For the year 2018, Semana Santa will be held from 25 March to 1 April.
During these days processions are organized that involve the faithful and pour thousands of people into the street. It is a wonderful experience that is worth attending. In Seville, Semana Santa is one of the two most popular annual festivals in the city, along with the Feria de Abril.
This festival also attracts the less believers: solemnity is not the dominant element during the celebrations. Day and night, during these days people cheerfully flock to the streets, celebrating with euphoria.
The origin of the holiday a Seville dates back to the late Middle Ages. As early as 1578, more than 30 parishes were organizing Easter processions. Over the years this tradition has been maintained, and has taken on an increasingly symbolic value for the city.
The most traditional part of the celebrations is the one that concerns precisely the procession, which often sees parades of allegorical floats, with seventeenth-century images of the Virgin or Christ, carried by the costaleros.
Each procession consists of three steps, or followed: the first dedicated to Passion of Jesus, then the one dedicated to Virgin Mary and then the final one dedicated to death of Christ.
Since months before we prepare ourselves with hymns and choirs that tell the passion of Christ and the pains of the Virgin. In fact the processions are not silent; there are those recitatives and those accompanied by music and choirs, followed by nazarenes, penitents who often wear a hood to completely cover their face and walk barefoot with a cross on their shoulders.
The parade takes place in clothes inspired by the past: throughout Seville there are various shops dedicated to the sale of clothes, sandals and sais for the occasion. Many of these shops can be found on the street Alcaiceria de la Loza.
The processions of Good Friday
Throughout the Semana Santa a series of processions alternate, which from the smaller parishes branch off through the city, up to the Cathedral. The Good Friday it is the crucial day for the processions: at midnight in fact the believers leave their parishes to go out during the night hours on the streets of the city. When the processions arrive near the Cathedral, where stands for spectators are also erected, the parade ends.
Visitors from all over Spain and many foreigners flock to Seville during Semana Santa. This holiday today goes far beyond being a religious event, and is a great time to visit the city. The advice is to book well in advance, as the accommodations are often fully booked.
The best way to enjoy the processions is to be carried away by the crowd: to see the path followed by the various parishes, just visit the semana-santa.org site. The ways of the processions in fact change every year, they are decided during a meeting known as "Cabildo of Take of Hours”, Held 14 days earlier than Palm Sunday.
Another way to participate in a procession is to stay at one of the Churches from which they start. For example, we recommend the Basilica of the Macarena or the Basilica of Jesus of the Great Power.