Semana Santa or The Holy Week is the last week of Lent or the week immediately before Easter. It is also a good time to visit Spain as the weather is mild and the chocolate shops and patisserie are wonderfully dressed in most amazing looking Easter eggs and other divine treats.
The Holy week in Spain is celebrated with various religious ceremonies according to the Orthodox Christian traditions. Palm Sunday is when the godmothers give palm leaves decorated with candies to their godchildren. Las Ramblas in Barcelona is covered with stalls selling palm leaves on this day and is quite a sight to watch. Through the week, you will see various street processions all over the country with people carrying large statues of Christ on floats followed by marchers wearing long black robes with conical pointed hats, not that dissimilar to the KKK clan. But, fear not, they are not members of some sinister organization, they are, in fact, penitents called “Nazarenos” and their gear is meant to mask their identity while they seek penance for their sins during The Holy Week. In Barcelona, the procession leaves on Palm Sunday and the Holy Friday soon after the Evening Mass. They are becoming increasingly popular with tourists and I would advice you to get there early for good views. The march last for few hours and go past the Gothic quarter in the old city of Catalonia.
In times when Easter is not really celebrated any more in most part of the world, it is interesting to watch traditional ceremonies for a change. We really enjoyed The Holy Week in Spain and hope you do too.