Semana Santa in Malaga – Easter on the Costa Del Sol

By | 22 March, 2016 | 0 comments

Semana Santa Málaga

The Holy Week celebrations – known in Spanish as Semana Santa – in Malaga famously compete with those of Seville to be the best in Andalucia, and even in the whole of Spain.  Testament to this rivalry are the more than 40 religious organisations (largely known as ‘hermandades’ or ‘cofradias’) which take part in the various processions that fill up the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.

The meaning behind all of the various processions and parties that take place between the end of March and early April is, of course, for Catholics to demonstrate their reverence for the resurrection of Jesus.  The most important processions take place on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, with Easter Saturday left free for a day of rest.  The cofradias hold processions on certain days only, but visitors can expect to see processions on Palm Sunday, the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.

The origins of the Semana Santa celebrations can be traced back to the reconquest of southern Spain by Isabel and Ferdinand, ‘Los Reyes Catolicos‘.  By the beginning of the 16th Century, there were already five cofradias, and the Catholic church was keen to promote the processions as a way of keeping Catholic iconography in the public consciousness, and therefore combat the rise of protestantism.

One thing that makes Malaga’s Semana Santa celebrations stand out from those of other towns and cities is the trono.  Where in other areas, the icons are placed on moving platforms known as pasos, in Malaga the platforms are known as tronos.  There is another key difference in that here, the platform is carried voluntarily on the shoulders of penitents, rather than on the backs of porters.

Malaga is also different in that groups from the military and national security services take part in the parades, among them the local police, guardia civil and the parachute brigade.   The official route of the processions passes through the Alameda principal, Calle Larios and Calle Granada, and begins at the meeting-house of the individual cofradia.  All of these streets are within easy reach of the Gran Hotel Miramar.

Photo / Flickr: Taco Ekkel

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