How do we celebrate Semana Santa in Valencia?
You’ve probably already celebrated Semana Santa, or the Holy Week before, but have you experienced it in Valencia? This cultural tradition kicks off this weekend and the city has a lot to offer during this time. Read on to find out more about the celebrations!
Semana Santa is one of the most recognized religious festivities worldwide, although each country has its own way of celebrating. It begins on Palm Sunday – Domingo de Ramos, and lasts until Easter Monday – Lunes de Pascua, with the biggest displays held on Maundy Thursday – Jueves Santo, Good Friday – Viernes Santo, and Easter Sunday – Domingo de Resurrección. This Catholic festivity aims to honor the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year, Semana Santa takes place from 2nd April – Palm Sunday, to 10th April – Easter Monday. Some of the most famous processions can be found in Andalusia (southern Spain), in places such as Seville and Málaga.
The celebration in Valencia, however, is different! Its proximity to the sea makes it unique, focusing on marine traditions. As such, here it’s known as “Semana Santa Marinera”. The coastal neighborhoods of Cabanyal, Canyamelar and Grau, also known as “Els Poblats Marítims”, are the main protagonists during the week. Guilds, brotherhoods, fishermen, sailors and local families dress in traditional costumes and hold a wide variety of processions along the streets to commemorate the Passion of Christ.
Semana Santa Marinera starts this weekend, on the 31st March and lasts until the 9th April. Below you can see the main events of the week, which you won’t want to miss out on:
- On Palm Sunday The Blessing of the Palms is celebrated, with many processions held along the streets.
- On Good Friday figures of Christ are carried to the beach to commemorate the death of sailors and fishermen, culminating in “La Procesión del Santo Entierro” – The Procession of the Holy Burial. There’s also an offering of flowers deposited on the waves, which is a must-see. This event is unique in Spain!
- However, the most impressive display is the Resurrection Parade on Easter Sunday. During this parade, you’ll see some surprising figures known as “penitentes”, who wear pointed hats called “capirotes”. It’s a sight to see!
Now you know more about this celebration in Valencia, we highly recommend you to head down to these port neighborhoods to enjoy these striking processions!