Tips for attending Semana Santa in Seville

Semana Santa crowd©malojavio El Saucejo/Flickr

Seville is known for many things, but few manage to bring together more attention and larger crowds then the Semana Santa manifestations. Taking place each year during the Holy Week (the week preceding Easter), the Semana Santa de Sevilla consists of a series of religious processions that are meant to commemorate the passions of Jesus Christ.  I hope these tips for attending Semana Santa in Seville will help you plan an unforgettable pilgrimage to this fabulous Spanish city:

When to go

If you are a Christian, you already know that Easter falls at a different date each year, so you’ll have to check a calendar before starting to plan your trip. Like I said before, this is the most important annual event in Seville, so the city will be filled with tourists and pilgrims from all over the country. Try booking your flight and trip with at least a couple of months in advance, otherwise you risk being disappointed. The week in indeed a week of manifestations, meaning that it will start in the Sunday before Easter.

What to see

Semana Santa garments©Iglesia en Valladolid/Flickr

The great attraction during Semana Santa are the pasos, or floats – wooden sculptures that usually depict biblical characters and are arranged to recreate events from the life of Christ. The Semana Santa is not a carnival – it has a sacred character and people go there to pray and pay their respects. The carrier of the pasos are well established brotherhoods – hermandades in Spanish.

There will be processions in every day of the Holy Week, but the most important one will take place in the Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Thursaday night is usually a white night for Christians in Seville – after 12 a clock, the most important brotherhoods start their walk. This moment was given a special name – Madruga.

Tips for joining the crowds

Semana Santa paso©malojavio El Saucejo/Flickr

Semana Santa is often regarded as the biggest annual event in Seville, so tenths if not hundreds of pilgrims are expected to fill the streets. It is very important to be there early if you want to get a glimpse of the processions. People will stand there with hours in order to make sure they have the best spot. Bringing a small folding chair or a step ladder is a common practice among Semana Santa veterans – and one that can be very practical. Also, don’t rely too much on cars or even public transportation at this time of the year: your best and most reliable mean of transportation will be your own feet!

 

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