Spain is famous for fiestas; The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Las Falles in Valencia, La Tomatina in Bunol... every town, village and city has it's own fiesta and they are always well worth visiting and taking part in. One of the more visually spectacular and somber festivals takes place during Semana Santa or Holy Week in Malaga.
It is one of the busiest times of the year for the city, with processions throughout the week and large crowds coming out to watch them.
Processions start this year from the 10th April and runs through to the 17th April.
What happens during Easter week in Málaga?
Locals dress up in robes and carry thrones or floats on their shoulders through the streets. The origins of the festival is religious to commemorate the Christian beliefs of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so they carry religious figures. They walk to the beat of the drum beat or song, which creates somber, beautiful atmosphere.
Each day there is different themes to the processions. On one day, children may wave palm leaves and sing hymns, another day sees white doves released into the sky. La Legion is very well known on "Jueves Santo" or Holy Thursday. It starts at 10:00am at the Port of Malaga, where the throne and procession disembarks from a military ship, carried by members of La Legion. About 30 minutes later, they arrive at "Fray Alonso de Santo Tomás Square to transfer the "Santísimo Cristo de la Buena Muerte y Animas" to its processional throne in the "Santo Domingo" church. They do it by performing a parade show and military instructions while singing their hymns.
Where is the best place to see the parade in Málaga?
Processions leave from different churches in the city center, and follow different routes, but they all converge onto the official route that starts from the Alameda Principal to Granada Street. The best views are from Alameda Principal, but go early, to get a good position!
The departures of the processions can be in the morning, afternoon or evening, with a duration between 7 and 8 hours. Despite the somber, religious themes, many people like enjoying them with their children. There are a lot of stalls in the street, where they sell many kinds of sweets and toys. And there is always a buoyant atmosphere when Spaniards gather!
What are the traditional dishes for Easter?
Much like we have traditional Easter dishes, in Malaga the typical Easter dish is “ajobacalao” or garlic cod. It is a dish that is made with olive oil, garlic, cod, bread, chilli, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. The typical dessert at Easter is the “torrija”, made from bread, milk, egg, cinnamon, olive oil and sugar.
There are parades every day from Monday to Sunday, but the busier days are "Jueves y Viernes Santo" or Holy Thursday and Good Friday.