Celebrating Holy Week in Seville

Celebrating Holy Week in Seville
Semana Santa in Seville. Nazarenos

Every year millions of tourists come to Seville, a city in southern Spain, to take part in or just to watch one of the most grandiose events of Seville, the Semana Santa or the Holy Week holiday. Semana Santa in Seville lasts for seven days of the Easter, beginning with the Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) to the Day of the Resurrection of the Christ (Domingo de Resurreccion). Although Easter worship and celebrations are held all over Spain, the Passion Week in Seville is notable for its brilliance and spectacularity. Each year Semana Santa in Seville attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims. During a holiday at the expense of tourists the population of Seville actually doubles.

The custom to celebrate the Good week in such a big way appeared in Seville in the late 14 century. Then, during the three following centuries, the ritual of the Semana Santa had been perfected and improved. Today, the celebration and rituals are held in Seville in accordance with the proven scenario. In the procession through the streets of the city take part more than 50 fraternities - cofradías. Some of them were founded in the 13-14 century. Each of the processions appears from its church and moves to the square of La Campana, then near the City Hall and to the main cathedral of Seville. This is the so-called Carrera Oficial, the official route.

Each procession is represented by the Nazarenos, the participants dressed in the smocks with peaked caps. They act as the penitents. The Nazarenos are accompanied by the pasos, the sculptures depicting Jesus or the Virgin Mary mourning Jesus Christ. Depending on the brotherhood the procession takes place in the complete silence or to the music of the orchestra. Sometimes one sculptural group is accompanied by several thousands of the Nazarenos.
The only way to watch all the processions of Seville is to rent a personal chair near the «official route», that should be done in a few weeks before the celebrations, as well as booking rooms in the hotels of Seville.

Date: 14/03/2009

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