Easter Week, known as Semana Santa, is the most important festival of the year, being a cultural and social milestone in Marbella’s calendar. As in almost all Andalusian cities, the Easter holidays on the Costa del Sol are a tradition loaded with sacred feeling. This “holy period” could very well be a time of reflection and slowing down to make positive improvements in our lives. The Easter Week in Marbella kick off with Palm Sunday, when Christ’s entrance to Jerusalem is commemorated and ends on Easter Sunday.
Here is everything you need to know about this week of penitence so you can experience the thrill, breathe in the aroma of orange blossom and incense wafting around the whole city and enjoy the profound singing of a good saeta flamenco religious song, followed by the sound of the bell indicating the subsequent “lifting of the float” and “we go bravely forward.” Easter Week in Marbella and the Costa del Sol is to be experienced.
Easter Week Processions
During Easter Week in Marbella, you will see impressive and beautiful thrones with artistic representations of Christ or the Virgin Mary. The different floats are decorated with gold or silver and also bear dozens of candles and hundreds of pretty flowers. Given their weight, the Marbella thrones are carried by 50 to 80 people, usually men, who will pass through the streets of the city. In addition to the processions, there is also a cortege comprising Nazarenes (or penitents) who are dressed in tunics, capes and capirotes (conical hats). And all this is accompanied by music played by different trumpet and drum bands hired by the different brotherhoods for the occasion.
Day by day guide to Easter in Marbella
Palm Sunday (La Pollinica)
The traditional Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo, María Santísima de la Encarnación y Santa Marta, la Pollinica, begins its journey from the Parroquia de San Pedro on the morning of Palm Sunday and its state of penitence passes through the streets of the centre accompanied by around 300 penitents.
Easter Monday (Cristo de la Columna)
The Hermandad del Santísimo Cristo Atado a la Columna y María Santísima Virgen Blanca have their procession on Monday from the Ermita del Santo Cristo and are accompanied by some 325 Nazarenes dressed in white capirotes and green tunics.
Easter Tuesday (El Cautivo y Santa Marta)
The Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo y María Santísima de la Encarnación y Santa Marta begins its procession on Easter Tuesday from the Encarnación and is escorted by 350 penitents wearing tunics and black capirotes. One of the most beautiful parts that we recommend you see is the passage of this procession along calle Virgen de los Dolores.
Easter Wednesday (Cristo del Perdón y el Nazareno)
The Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo, María Santísima de la Encarnación y Santa Marta has its procession on Wednesday from its Casa Hermandad por Nueva Andalucía. Conversely, Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno y María Santísima del Mayor Dolor begins from the Encarnación and is accompanied by 225 Nazarenes, 110 bearers and over 40 Mantillas wearing black lace headscarves.
Easter Thursday (Silence, Love and Nazarene)
The Silence starts its penitence from the Parroquia de San Pedro. The Cofradía de Nazarenos del Santísimo Cristo del Amor, María Santísima de la Caridad y San Juan Evangelista is the most ancient carved piece that is carried through the streets of Marbella, so it is something that you must not miss. Conversely, the humblest procession is the Nazarene that starts from San Pedro with over 600 brothers, but is only accompanied by 9 Nazarenes and 9 Mantillas for each ‘saint.’
Good Friday (Yacente and Soledad)
The Hermandad de Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo, María Santísima de la Encarnación y Santa Marta pass through Nueva Andalucía, starting its journey from its Casa Hermandad.
The state of penitence of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad starts from the Iglesia de la Encarnación and passes through the streets of Marbella.
Easter Sunday in Marbella is experienced in a totally different way, since it is a state of penitence that is very luminous and joyful and passes through the streets of San Pedro and Marbella followed by brothers from all the brotherhoods.
Traditions & Customs
The main attraction of Holy Week in Spain is the procession. The images kept by the churches during the year are taken out on a tour, mounted on beautiful floats and accompanied by beautiful floral embellishments. Images of Virgins, Christ, crucifixions or Nazarenos, among others, represent the Passion and death of Jesus of Nazareth. The procession is accompanied by a procession around the streets and all the people come together to watch it and pray. If you are passionate about art, you cannot miss this religious expression which features sculptures by the best Spanish carvers as well as an excellent example of metalwork.
Nazarenos are adherents of different religious brotherhoods that accompany their images in procession. Their outfit is none other than a robe and cape accompanied by a capirote, a type of conical hat that, in most cases, covers the face. Also known as penitents, they are responsible walking in front of the images holding candles and incense. They are one of the symbols of Holy Week, so you won’t be able to ignore them.
La Saeta is synonymous with Easter Week and is the most significant expression of this time. It is a totally religious song that is sung during the day of Passion. It is a song full of sentiment that is addressed directly to the carved piece. If you come to see Easter Week, be sure not to miss the chance to enjoy one of the most emotional and beautiful moments of the procession.
If you have already decided that you are going to enjoy Easter Week on the Costa del Sol, we can only say that we hope you enjoy what is a spectacular week of celebration.
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