Marbella is an interesting place over the Easter period. Easter is taken pretty seriously and there are celebrations happening all over Andalusia; although Easter is celebrated in many parts of the world, Spain has its own way of doing it, and this can be quite a special – and novel – experience to be part of.
Every year the dates for Easter week vary; it’s in March and/or April, but in 2018 it will happen from Sunday 25th March to Sunday 1st April. The period commemorates the culmination of the Passion of Christ and Jesus´ crucifixion, death and the resurrection.
In Spain, the Easter week is called Semana Santa. This holiday can actually last from a week to ten days and it’s primarily celebrated through processions that were established back in the sixteenth century. In Andalucia, Holy Week in an integral piece of the culture, and it’s a spirited affair. If you’ve got the opportunity to be part of it, you really should.
The Semana Santa Easter Procession
From the start, Semana Santa processions would consist of scenes that depicted the story of Jesus’ fall and subsequent resurrection. Traditionally, the parades would begin on Palm Sunday and finish on Easter Sunday. On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the parades might be seem little solemn as they represent the suffering experienced by Christ.
The processions are very musical affairs. Brass bands are part of the parades, and they’ll take you on a musical journey; while it starts off with the relatively solemn vibe (rhythmical drums and trumpets), by the Sunday, the vibe lifts and the music is more celebratory.
Expect the vibe to be contagious
It is apt to be quite an emotional experience, if you’re touched by music. There is also a religious song that is reminiscent of flamenco. It’s called saeta and will be heard many times over the Holy Week processions.
The parades are quite a sight to behold, too. Starting at the church in Marbella Old Town, floats depicting scenes from the bible are carried through the streets by swaying bearers. Some of these floats date back to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and they’re really worth seeing…. they’re ancient, antique sculpted artworks and are exceptionally heavy; they weigh in at up to 5,000 kilograms.
The people of the processions
What is even more surprising is that the two thousand members of the local brotherhood (costaleros) that make up the procession will shoulder this weight. The streets are particularly narrow, so this is no mean feat. They also carry candles, banners and rods, according to their seniority. The president is the most senior, and can be seen carrying a gold rod.
The floats are also laden with flowers, and sweet breads known as torrijas and monas. They’re typically eaten to signify the end of a lengthy voyage. Behind the floats, you will see Nazarenos walking with candles. They wear colourful tunics, pointy hoods and masks. The reason their faces are hidden is that are playing the part of the penitents who were ashamed by the crucifixion. With the Nazarenos are women in traditional costumes.
There are plenty of other Easter events to attend
Easter is a great time to be in Marbella. The weather is warming up nicely and visitors come from around the world to enjoy the climate, beaches, and general lifestyle. There are lots of events you and your family can be part of if you come at Easter. Here are a few of the highlights:
Easter Egg Hunts
Arboretum Charity in Marbella plan to hold an Easter Egg Hunt at their wonderful public park in the city, and there’s also the Kidz Inland Easter egg hunt. If you’re looking for parties, sign up for some Easter fun: the Galaxia San Pedro play centre is also holding an Easter egg hunt. There will also be animal balloons, and the kids will love the face painting on offer. There will be appearances from Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and of course the Easter Bunny.
Family fun day
Get down to Nagueles Park for the Easter parade and family fun day at. Here there will be more Easter egg hunts, and the Easter Bunny’s grotto means plenty of photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny. Other activities will include more face-painting, an egg and spoon race, a tombola and raffle… there will be several children’s entertainers and a play area.
Boat fair and Easter art and sports camp
Then there’s the Easter Boat Fair (Feria Nautica) in Puerto Banus, where you can see more than a hundred boats ranging between 17ft and 84ft. They’re getting ready for sea trials. Lastly, there’s the Easter art and sports camp, with an art theme of ‘fracture fairy tales’. Sport sessions include circuits and kickboxing, and there’s a games afternoon session.
As you can see, Marbella is a popular place. Living here is an attractive prospect; after all, many holidays turn into expatriations! If you’re considering a move to the Costa del Sol, come and see the beautiful properties we have for sale in Marbella; they’re some of the most popular properties for sale on the Costa del Sol, in fact. This way you’ll be able to celebrate every Easter here!