In Spain, Easter holidays or festivities begin on Palm Sunday and last until Easter Sunday. The Holy Week ( Semana Santa) in Granada is well-known for the simplicity and beauty of its “pasos” (floats of thrones with religious icons), but also for the unique surroundings of the processions.
Easter week is one of the most heartfelt and deep-rooted fiestas celebrated in Spain. This commemoration has centuries of history and tradition, remembering the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The streets of Granada become the stage for religious devotion, combining grief and meditation in memory of Christ’s death which music, art, and color come together in magical processions.
Important Notice: Unfortunately, all 2020 Holy Week or Semana Santa events have been suspended due to the Coronavirus Outbreak Lockdown, not only in Granada, but also in the rest of Spain. Anyway, as Holy Week events and processions are every year the same, you can keep on reading this post and start learning for your 2021 Easter Holidays in Granada.
When is Holy Week in Granada in 2020?
As you already know the dates of Holy Week change every year and usually coincide with the first full moon of the spring equinox.
For this year 2020, Holy Week in Granada is celebrated from April 5 to 12.
Why is Granada Holy or Easter Week so famous?
People from Granada take their Holy Week very seriously, and the processions are quite spectacular. Each brotherhood has its own procession and is extremely proud of their own figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Most of the processions include two images or figures, one of Christ and the other is the Virgin Mary. Each float is decorated with fresh flowers, silver, and golden metalwork, wooden sculptures and religious imagery. Depending on the size and preparation of the float the weight varies.
If you’ve never seen a Holy Week procession before, it can be quite breathtaking, so get ready for a unique experience!
If you are interested in coming to Granada during this period, or in any other, don’t miss the chance to experience one of our tours; discover the historical center of this beautiful city, its food, its traditions, its culture and, of course, all about Holy Week in Granada.
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Holy Week in Granada: Processions and Dates
If you are planning to come to Spain for your Easter Holidays and don’t want to miss a thing about the Granada Holy Week, bookmark this post and take note of the following events and processions:
Palm Sunday in Granada (April 5th): The little donkey!
Palm Sunday is the commemoration of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. According to the Gospel, the entrance was triumphant on the back of a donkey. The donkey is an animal that represents the humble spirit of Jesus Christ.
The most traditional procession during Holly week in Granada is La Borriquilla (little donkey) this leaves from the church of Perpetuo Socorro and goes along Calle Elvira. There are lots of children participating in this procession, they hold palm branches which have been treated and sculpted to form decorative shapes.
The procession takes place around 4 pm till 10:30 pm in Calle San Jeronimo.
Holy Monday in Granada (April 6th): Sorrows
The Bible passages celebrate the Unction of Lazarus’ sisters to Jesus.
At 18.00 starts Los Dolores procession from San Pedro y San Pablo Church, in the Carrera del Darro. The departure is the most interesting moment of Los Dolores’s (Sorrows) procession.
Holy Tuesday (April 7th): Granada Via Crucis
Holy Tuesday is the day when Jesus revealed to his disciples that one of them would have betrayed him.
One of the most interesting processions to visit on Holy Tuesday is the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross). This procession is the homage to Jesus’ path with the Cross. The most interesting moment of the procession is the closure, at 23.30 pm in San Juan de Los Reyes Church, in the Albaicín.
Holy Wednesday (April 8th): Cristo de los Gitanos
The day of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal. It is one of the most interesting processions of Granada. Cristo de Los Gitanos at 16:30 pm in the Church of the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, in Gran Vía.
Maundy Thursday (April 9th): The Albaicin big night!
The night of Maundy Thursday also is a magical night in the Albaycin In what is almost the same space you can find the popular flavor of the neighborhood’s three Virgins: the Virgen de la Concha, Estrella and Aurora.
Holy or Good Friday in Granada (April 10th): Soledad or Loneliness
At nightfall on Good Friday the oldest Confraternity or Brotherhood (cofradía) of all, the Soledad de San Jerónimo procession takes to the streets in a thrilling procession in which real people represent historical figures from the Bible.
Holy Saturday (April 11th): Alhambra surroundings
It is the day after Jesus’ death and before the Resurrection.
On Saturday only the Santa Maria de la Alhambra leaves the church and it has one float that the inspiration comes from the Lions Courtyard of the Alhambra Palace.
Easter Sunday (April 12th): Facundillos or Lanterns!
Finally, Easter week in Granada culminates on Easter Sunday with the procession of the Los Facundillos in which children carry ceramic lanterns (Facundillos) that jingle as they walk along.
Holy Week in Granada: practicalities
How can I get to and around Granada at Easter time?
Holy Week processions disrupt the traffic and many roads are cut off temporarily while the processions pass, os bringing your car in Granada city centre can be a nightmare. Use public transport wherever possible.
Easter makes from Granada Old Town a crowded place and making your way round the streets can be difficult, so be patient and enjoy the show!
What happens if it rains during Holy Week in Granada?
If heavy rain is forecast or it starts to rain hard during a procession then the procession is usually called off. Showers of rain will delay a procession, sometimes for a few hours.
To sum up, Holy week in Granada is a celebration you should watch and enjoy at least once in your life. Obviously, Granada has so much to offer in every season! So, come and see yourself! Also, if you want to know much more about Andalusia, don’t forget to take a look at my blog!
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