Popular Religious Manifestations in Spain

Semana Santa Cartagena©F3rn4nd0_2/Flickr

Spain is a premiere destination in Europe when it comes to festivals, fairs and traditions. The country has some of the strangest festivals in the world (like the bull races in Pamplona or the tomato fights – Tomatina), but also some of the most well-kept traditions.  Spain’s medieval pilgrimage routes continue to be followed by thousands of people every year, and impressive Christmas and Easter manifestations attract huge crowds.  Festivals and processions are an important part of Spain’s culture, which is why today I invite you to learn about these popular religious manifestations in Spain:

Semana Santa

Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian world, and in a Catholic country like Spain, people give a lot of consideration to this holiday. Easter has no fixed date, however what really counts is the week preceding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Known as Semana Santa, this is a week of sadness and mourning, and in cities like Seville it comes to involve the whole population. The manifestations in Seville consists of an impressive parade of pasos (wood sculptures) representing biblical characters.

Palm Sunday

Just one day before the start of Semana Sunday, Christians all over Spain celebrate Palm Sunday (Fiesta de Ramos). According to the Christian tradition, Jesus arrived to Jerusalem one week before his death and resurrection, and he was welcomed by people carrying palm leaves in their hands. From all Spanish cities, Barcelona has the most impressive Palm Sunday manifestations: a long procession starts each year in front of La Seu cathedral and follows the city’s cobbled streets.

Reyes Magos

Reyes Magos©Tom Raftery/Flickr

Almost as popular as Semana Santa is a festival held in January, and known as Reyes Magos. The Spanish equivalent of the Epiphany, this event takes place in many cities, towns and villages across Spain. In big cities like Seville, people will gather around to watch the Three Kings as they proceed through the old streets and throw sweets and small gifts into the accompanying crowds.

Moors and Christians

Moors and Christians parade©spiraltri3e/Flickr

There has been a time when Moors and Christians were fighting over Spain’s territory. Catholics have prevailed, but the Moorish architecture and some traditions are still important parts of Spain’s culture. This is why Moors and Christians alike are celebrated during a special festival. The fiestas take place all over the country and they consists of a symbolic confrontation, followed by fireworks, music, dance , good food and a joyous atmosphere.


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