Easter in Spain is seen as one of the most important celebration. It is more commonly known as Semana Santa, meaning Holy Week. They celebrate their country’s Roman Catholic heritage throughout the entire week before Easter Sunday.
The first day of La Semana Santa is Palm Sunday. Locals will go to church and carry either a palm or olive branch which are then blessed by the priest. For the following week until Easter Sunday, the Spanish towns have street parades every day. The celebration is shown in different variance depending on the Spanish Province, but all present life, colour, culture, music and dance. Murcia’s Holy Week is famous for their parades distinctive relation to the area’s history and culture as well as their symmetry and exceptional attention to detail.
World famous Fiestas
The festivities can last up to two weeks for Semana Santa, each event being spectacular with the locals joining in with anticipation and excitement. Each day shows different colours and outfits worn by those celebrating, all of which correspond to the meaning behind the festival.
The streets are flooded with people following and carrying floats for the parade. On top of the floats are statues of the scenes from the Old Testament with them covered and decorated with flowers, candles and fabrics such as silk. People usually wear striking Semana Santa costumes that are also made out of silk and decorated with religious scenes. There are somes small museums located in Lorca that are dedicated to the exquisite outfits.
Things to see and do
Easter is the perfect time to visit Murcia due to their traditional Spanish fiestas.Travelling to Orihuela or Elche in the Alicate region will allow for you to see some of the greatest Easter parades, where they celebrate with palm trees. Most of the palm trees come from Elche, home to 200,000 palm trees.
There are many museums in the Lorca area that show the detailed history of Murcia through the elaborate outfits worn during the Semana Santa. Even weeks before the festival, the towns of Spain are preparing the streets and building stands and statues. The museums can give you an idea of the importance of the Easter week. We would highly suggest you visit Museo Azul during the Easter season.
Traditional Easter Food
Chocolate Easter eggs are becoming more and more popular across Spain, but this is not usually the special sweet treat that you receive for Holy Week.
One of the traditional Semana Santa snack eaten in Spain are Torrijas. The recipe has been a tradition since the 1600’s and consists of bread being soaked in milk and egg which is then fried and served with sugar or honey. These can be found all over the country during Holy Week.
Pestiños are also popular snacks that are available during La Semana Santa. The dough, often sesame flavoured, is fried and then glazed with honey or sugar.
A common gift that is usually given to children for Semana Santa is a Mona de Pascua. The cake is decorated in colourful decorations and is then beautifully topped with either boiled or chocolate egg, both of which are finished with interesting patterns, drawings or foil. The cake represents the end of lent as well as being a symbol of spring and welcoming sunny weather.