Semana Santa is an amazing experience in Spain.  Holy week begins more than a week before the ‘Easter’ holidays in the UK with Palm Sunday.

There are events, parades and religious ceremonies all week, until Easter Sunday.

These photos are from ‘good Friday’ and were taken in Cuevas del Almanzora, a typical Spanish town in the Almeria province.

The morning started around 9 a.m. with the bands, penitents and brotherhoods converging at the square by the church.

               

Once everyone was organised the celebrations began around 10 a.m.  Crowds began to line the streets throughout the town and the numbers rapidly increased. 

                                   

                    As the crowds increased the numbers swelled to thousands, locals brought out chairs from their houses and every available space along the route was filled.

The beauty of the celebrations in Cuevas del Almanzora is that there are no barriers between the people watching and the people taking part, unlike some of the larger cities where it is necessary to seperate the crowds.  This is not a tourist attraction, but a celebration by the towns people.

                                                                                                                                                                                           

At first it is easy to think that the parade will take a short tour around the town and back to the church.  One of the reasons for thinking this is that many of the penitents are walking barefoot, another reason is that there are very young children involved in the celebration and a third reason is the sheer weight of the religious icons carried by both men and women.  But, this is not the case, the parade walks for miles…….

The entire parade walks around the outskirts of the town, through all the narrow back streets and heads for the castle.  Behind the castle (and now 3 hours into the parade) they walk and carry the icons up the steep hill to the top, back down to the castle and round the other side of town ending back at the main church…..  5 hours later!!!

                            

I have lived in Spain for almost 7 years, I have seen many of the fiestas and events such as Moors and Christians, Cascamorras, (more on these another day) but the beauty, pageant, effort, determination, tranquillity and calm of this day moved me and I found myself smiling all day.

                                                           

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One response »

  1. Thanks to Pete of PDImages for his advice on my photography skills

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