Living Abroad,  Travel

Snapshots of Spain during Semana Santa

Dani’s Semana Santa 2018


This week we are giving you an idea of what one of our Semana Santa‘s was actually like here in Spain! All week long, we’ve been providing information about this important holiday in Spain (from understanding processions to how to thrive while traveling this week) but we realize that perhaps you’d like to know how this all applies to our REAL lives.

In the spirit of authenticity, I did not go out of my way to see more processions or celebrate Semana Santa any more than I normally would. However, you’ll find from the number of photos I’m able to share that it is, in fact, more difficult to avoid Semana Santa than to seek it out…

Procession figurines


Monday: Lunes Santo

empty palcosPenitentes in a processionOn my way to meet a friend for tapas this evening in Granada, I had to take a much longer route to get around these long rows of palcos, or “box seats,” that were set up for the processions. Despite there being no procession coming down this street at the time I wanted to get through it, barricades and police officers prohibited me from getting through anywhere other than the narrow (and very crowded) passageways. After eating some tapas, we were interested to see these penitentes lining up right in front of us to start another procession…then quickly booked it out of there to avoid being caught on that side of the street for the upcoming hour(s).


procession and fountainTuesday: Martes Santo

I was also not looking for a procession on Tuesday, but I came across this one getting started near the Fuente de las Granadas when I came out of Mercadona―gotta be sure to stock up on groceries before the bank holidays at the end of the week! I was not the only unprepared passerby either, I noticed plenty of people with groceries, with suitcases, or who otherwise looked like they had just happened upon this scene as I did.


Wednesday: Miercoles Santo

This was a travel day for me and so I did not get any snapshots. However, you can be sure that processions and the like were in full force upon my arrival in Málaga as well―it took my boyfriend 45 minutes to get to the bus station by car (a route that would normally take less than 10 minutes)! Let’s just say we were happy to escape all of the Semana Santa hype thereafter.


Thursday: Jueves Santo

Military ship in harborFull Disclosure: This photo was NOT taken in 2018, but I wanted to include the up-close shot from last year to provide a clearer idea of this special tradition.Although I was working and didn’t get the chance to head out to the center of the city, I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Desembarco de la Legión (The Disembarkation of the Legion). This tradition is unique to port cities and, as far as I know, only takes place in Málaga and Ceuta. La Legión (the marine military unit you see pictured) disembark from their vessel, perform a march, sign hymns, and eventually carry the Cristo de la Buena Muerte statue to the Santo Domingo church.


start of processionmen carrying pasoFriday: Viernes Santo

We accidentally followed the wrong crowd into the acceso abonado, which essentially means you need to have a reserved seat to enter, but nobody asked to check any documents (and there were very few people in these seats anyways) so we decided to sit and take in the on-coming procession. We had seen this paso on another street as we were coming in and again later in another corner of town as we were getting a bite to eat.

Saturday: Sábado Santo

two girls in front of fortressdessertSaturday is a pretty quiet day in terms of Semana Santa (makes sense, seeing as according to Catholic tradition Jesus has already been crucified, but not resurrected) and so I didn’t see any parades. On the other hand, I did have a friend come to visit me and so we took her out for a proper first night in Málaga―Málaga Virgen wine at El Pimpi and all!


Sunday: Domingo de Resurrección

colorful penitentesEaster Sunday pasoEven though this post will be published before I have a chance to get out and capture this Easter Sunday here in Málaga, I can confidently predict that my experience will include scenes just like these from last year. On Domingo de Resurrección there is only one procession, marking the joy and exultation of the resurrection of Christ.

What has your Semana Santa looked like? How many processions did you see? Did you find their constant presence interesting or kinda difficult to work around? Wishing you all a beautiful holiday!!



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