Holy Week in Granada “Semana Santa” takes place the week before Easter. This festivity represents the Passion of the Christ with groups that bring floats of thrones with religious figures, known as “pasos”.
The Holy Week in Granada was declared Festival of International Tourist Interest in 2009. This tradition exists since the XVI century and features 33 “cofradías” (fraternities or brotherhoods). The Royal Federation of Fraternities and Broderhoos of Granada regulates the participation of these groups.
The main days, known as Passion Days, of the celebration are:
Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday)
Granada awakens between palms and olive branches to start the 8 days of passion, death and resurrection ahead. The celebration starts at 5pm. The tradition is that the big brother from the last cofradía last year, Santa María de Alhambra, gives the keys to open the penitence week. The tradition is that the cofradía La Borriquilla returns the keys to the cofradía Santa María de la Alhambra on Holy Saturday and they will keep the keys until next year.
On Holy Monday, San pedro´s church procession and el paso de la virgen de los Dolores makes an impact on everyone who comes. The journey across carrera del Darro is one of the most emblematic locations in the city.
On it´s departure from San Juan de los Reyes Church, the streets of Albaicín reflect the agony of Christ on his way to crucifixion.
After him, there’s an image of his mother Nuestra Señora de los Reyes. With elegance and resignation, she assumes the destiny of her child.
Holy Wednesday’s night is spectacular and exceptional. The two processions of the day are Cristo del Consuelo and María Santísima del Sacromonte.
In the Sacromonte Hills, with the paso of Christ of the Gypsies, immense pyres are burnt in the caves and homes of the gypsies.
Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday)
The night of Holy Thursday is the magical night of Albaicín. You can see in the same area the three virgins of the neighbourhood: La Concha, La Estrella and La Aurora.
After midnight, the protagonist is the Virgen de la Aurora. The virgin is received by the cheering crowd that often shout: ¡Aurora! ¡guapa, guapa y guapa! – Aurora, pretty, pretty and pretty!
Holy Friday (Good Friday)
Friday at 3pm in the Campo del Principe thousands of people are attracted by one of the most popular traditions in the Holy Week. The archbishop of the city says a prayer and talks about the 7 pains of Maria.
On Friday night, there is a paso of one of the oldest cofradías: Soledad de San Jerónimo, with historical characters of the Inquisition.
The Virgen de las Angustias it´s the sole protagonist on Holy Saturday, as it´s the Patroness of Granada. The image is brought up to the red hill of Alhambra and brought back to the city. This exercise involves an enormous physical force from the men.
Sunday is Resurrection day. In this procession, the children are the participants. The small lanterns are symbols of the welcoming of the Christ at his arrival to Jerusalem.