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Wednesday, April 20, 2011 (read 805 times)

Semana Santa Processions in Salamanca

by Lindsay Cook

This week the Semana Santa celebrations have begun throughout Spain.  Semana Santa or holy week is the week before Easter.

The most famous celebrations of Semana Santa occur in Seville in the South of Spain. However the celebrations take place throughout Spain.  The celebrations are quite sombre as they commemorate the rise and fall of Christ.

This week in Salamanca there are daily processions through the streets from each church. Members of the church dress up in long white robes and wear tall pointed hats which cover their faces. The colour of these hoods varies depending upon the church.

For a foreign onlooker these pointed hoods do bear some resemblance to the masks worn by the Klu Klux Klan! However they actually signify the mourning of Christ´s death.  

The processions parade slowly around the city with people filling the streets to watch these processions. Sometimes they are accompanied by drumbeat which enhances the sombre atmosphere. 

The men from the church carry a float of Christ around the city and into their church.  As they walk they sway slowly from side to side. The processions really are a spectacle, the atmosphere is very poignant.

These processions will take place each day in the run up to Easter Sunday, the day which marks Christ’s resurrection and the end of the Semana Santa Celebrations. If you get the chance to visit Spain during Semana Santa I would recommend it!

Keywords: Semana Santa, Easter, Holy Week, Processions, Religion


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