Discovery: Holy Week in Spain

During this conflictive time in the world of the twenty-first century, many of our friends, family members, customers, and neighboring countries, such as the Ukraine, have had to change their habits and ways of life to cope and survive. Many people have had to see life from a different perspective. Whatever stage of life you are currently in, I hope this article will be meaningful to you. Once again, we are in Holy Week. This is a special time when Christians all over the world commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

After visiting several Spanish cities in recent years as part of my globetrotting lifestyle, I went to various Spanish places during Holy Week, and I strongly recommend visiting the folkloric cities of Andalusia in the south of Spain, which will impact your feelings and leave you with valuable and lasting memories.

As you step foot in Andalusia for the first time during Holy Week, you are immediately immersed in the delicate aroma that pervades the environment, feeling the emotion of a passionate saeta and the scent of incense. Clearly, it is the perfect time to go visit and observe another side of this incredible festivity that catches the attention not only of Christians but also of tourists from all over the world.

Andalusia’s Holy Week is known around the world as one of the most popular and breathtaking celebrations. This one-of-a-kind event is so historically significant to Spain that it is recognized as part of UNESCO’s cultural world heritage. 

Do you know? The Catholic Church came up with the idea of Holy Week parades hundreds of years ago to explain the story of Christ’s Passion to non-religious people. These types of parades are still held on Easter in all Spanish cities. 

Although Holy Week is observed in every city and town in Spain, you will fall in love with the intense and traditional Andalusian celebrations, especially in the provinces of Málaga and Sevilla.

During the parade, the floats (a group of bearers called “costaleros”) will be carried by another group of people, “Hermandad” or “brotherhood”. There are normally two groups, one for Jesus and one for the Virgin Mary. Floats are being carried away from the churches to the main cathedral and back again while a band plays music. If you witness a holy procession by yourself, you will soon realize that carrying those heavy floats is not easy. The “costaleros” who carry the floats on their shoulders are strong; they have been trained for days to walk in the same rhythmic pattern, all together. They are at it for hours in a row, and the pain they suffer is meant to reflect what Jesus went through. The processions that accompany them are truly impressive and creative, and they create an atmosphere of emotion and art with religious significance. Onlookers sometimes cry at it, given the emotion the scenes create.

As an eclectic music lover, I can confirm that flamenco singers are one of the highlights of Holy Week in Andalusia, as they play a prominent role in the proceedings. Flamenco songs that are played during a procession are known as “saeta”. These were once spontaneous outbursts of emotion, but they are now almost always planned in advance. Many famous Spanish singers, such as Isabel Pantoja and Pastora Soler, perform saeta songs during Holy Week. 

As you can see, Andalusia celebrates the seven days of Easter in grand style. If you come next year, you will see works of great artistic value paraded through the streets under the warm light of candles, the color of the Nazarenes’ tunics, and the music of bands with drums and trumpets. All of this, combined with the aroma of incense and orange blossom, unleashes the magic and instills a sense of privilege in all who attend. 

Celebrating Holy Week by yourself at home

-Create a Spiritual Space: set up a designated space that inspires you to pray. 
-Clear a table and place a plain cloth on it, add religious images like a Rosary, and light candles with an incense scent.
-Add a Bible to your library
-Put up a waterfall decoration 
-Grow in your faith: Holy Week is an excellent time for spiritual development. Do something each day that enhances your faith
-Read spiritual books
-Practice spiritual meditation
-Listen to angelic music
-Follow people with faith on social media
-Make preparations: silently and faithfully prepare your home for Easter
-Create Easter cards and mail them to the ones you love
-Boil eggs and decorate them to eat them during the Holy Week
-Paint rocks and put them in your neighbors’ yards, writing positive sentences on them

As Ya-Hub’s Chief Marketing Officer and author of this blog, I wholeheartedly recommend that you visit one of Andalusia’s cities during Holy Week. You will be immersed in another century’s worth of culture, traditions, and music.

Happy Holy Week to everyone, including all of our special clients around the world!! Have faith, and your dreams will come true.