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Semana Santa Marinera

Have you ever experienced Semana Santa, or Holy Week, in Valencia? The city celebrates this holiday in a unique way, with a special focus on marine traditions – giving its name Semana Santa Marinera. Read on to find out more about this important cultural tradition!


Regional traditions

Semana Santa is celebrated in different ways in Spain, depending on the region. For example, some of the most famous processions can be found in Andalusia (southern Spain), in places such as Seville and Málaga. They begin on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and last until Easter Monday (Lunes de Pascua), with the most dramatic displays held on Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) and Good Friday (Viernes Santo).


Valencia’s Semana Santa Marinera

It’s said that Semana Santa Marinera began in the 15th century, by the group Concordia dels disciplinants. Festivities took place in the area closest to the sea, the neighborhoods we know today as Cabanyal, Nazaret, and Malvarrosa, among others. Guilds, brotherhoods, fishermen, sailors and local families in the area dressed as biblical characters, holding processions through the streets to commemorate the Passion of Christ.


Today’s processions

The festivities we see today have evolved to include grand parades down the main streets of these neighborhoods, which are a sight to behold. More than 30 brotherhoods dress in traditional costumes, alongside religious leaders and figures, and walk through the streets to the sombre beat of drums and the tolling of bells. The most surprising figures are the penitentes who wear pointed hats called capirotes. For Americans, these costumes strongly resemble those of the Ku Klux Klan, but of course they have nothing to do with them!


Events schedule this year

The three main events of Semana Santa Marinera are the Blessing of the Palms, the Procession of the Holy Burial, and the Resurrection Parade. There’s a lot more to see too! We highly recommend you head down to these port neighborhoods to see for yourself some of these striking processions. You can see all the events that will be held this year, as well as their times and dates, by clicking on this link.


We hope you enjoy these Valencian festivities, and wish you all a happy and safe Easter break!


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