MALAGACITY’S Semana Santa (Holy Week or Easter) officially starts tomorrow (Friday), although the first busy day will be on Sunday. Often described as a week full of ‘passion and devotion,’ whatever one’s faith, given the chance it should be experienced at least once in a lifetime.
Thousands of people, both locals and visitors, take to the streets in Easter to see or take part in the processions. More than 25,000 seats are placed along the official route for people to watch the procesiones (processions).
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One of the favourite areas for this is the ‘Tribuna de los Pobres’ (poor people’s stand) in Calle Carreteria, where the large steps are used as seating, for free, hence the name.
Although each cofradia (brotherhood) has its own route, there is one part of Malaga which is common to all of them and is the ‘official’ route of 807 metres from the Alameda Principal, via Calle Larios to Calle Granada.
Readers planning to see the processions, are recommended to find standing space in this area, but make sure they get there early.
Many people find the encierro, when the images return to their churches, the most spectacular moment of the procession, when the figures of Christ and the Virgin meet, and despite their tiredness, the portadores (carriers) place them face to face and begin to sway to the sound of the national anthem.
Some of the figures enter Malaga Cathedral during the procession, which is also very spectacular.
As well as those carrying the ‘tronos’, some weighing up to five tonnes, there are marching bands, penitents dressed in pointed hoods which only show their eyes, local authorities and other members of the brotherhoods carrying the emblems. The colours used depend on each brotherhood.
By Jennifer Leighfield
Most important processions:
Palm Sunday (April 17): Pollinica, leaves at from Calle Parra. Lagrimas y Favores, leaves from Calle Especerias at . The latter is the brotherhood of which Antonio Banderas is a member.
Monday (April 18): Cautivo, leaves at from Calle Trinidad, known as the ‘Señor de Malaga’. Gitanos, returns to the temple near Plaza de la Merced at 22.30 and is interesting for the singing.
Tuesday (April 19): Rocio, leaves from Plaza Victoria at , this figure of the Virgin has a cloak of fresh flowers.
Wednesday (April 20): Fusionadas, leaves from Calle Especerias at , and carries four different images. Rico, leaves from Calle Alcazabilla at and at , the figure of Christ pardons an inmate in Calle Cister.
Maundy Thursday (April 21): Mena, leaves from Avenida Andalucia at and is carried by members of the Spanish Foreign Legion. Also interesting is their arrival in Malaga earlier the same morning. One of the favourite images, La Esperanza, leaves from Avenida Andalucia at ending the procession at . The two meet at about .
Good Friday (April 22): Servitas, leaves from Madre de Dios at . The lights are turned out and the image is marched to the sound of a single drum.
Resurrection Sunday (April 24): The resurrection procession starts from Iglesia de San Julian at , there is only one procession on this day.