Semana Santa 2014 is here! Well, living in the USA you would hardly notice, but over in Spain it’s a really huge event. In fact while we were visiting in early April, many of our relatives in Madrid and elsewhere were excitedly looking forward to their annual trip to Seville for its famously massive celebration.
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. This year, Semana Santa 2014 begins on Palm Sunday April 13th and runs through Holy Saturday April 19th, the day before Easter. Even though Easter is often indicated as the end date on posters, technically Easter Sunday is not part of Holy Week.
Many cities in Spain such as Cartagena, Malaga and Leon hold major processions for Semana Santa, but the processions in Seville may be the most elaborate of all. Among Spaniards themselves, Seville is likely the most visited and celebrated.
Semana Santa en Seville is notable for featuring the procession of “pasos”, or paces, which are sculptures made of wood and plaster that depict specific scenes that occurred between the time of Jesus’ arrest and his burial. Many of these also depict scenes of the Virgin Mary grieving over the toruture and death of her son. Large bands follow the processions, and tens of thousands of people actively participate in the processions themselves.
It’s a unique and spectacular event, unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else.
This year our travels got us to Seville a week too early but the Semana Santa aura had already permeated the city. Bands were already out at night by the Plaza de España practicing for the main event, and visitors were already arriving.
Which gives you an idea of just how massive Semana Santa in Seville really is. Like we said earlier, it really is a huge deal.