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 Home » Malaga - Semana Santa, the processions of Holy Week

 Malaga - Semana Santa, the processions of Holy Week  

Málaga - Semana Santa, the processions of Holy Week

Updated 05 March 2015

Holy Week, Semana Santa, is an incredibly important time in Spain, with the events taking place in Málaga, Andalusia among the most celebrated.

The Holy Week period is unlike anything else. The music, the unmistakable smell of incense, and the breathtaking processions make this one of the most beautiful, inspiring, and moving traditions that can be experienced. 

We hope that you enjoy this video and that it inspires you to come visit Málaga and see Semana Santa for yourself, taking place this year from March 29th until April 6th, 2015.

Video of Semana Santa, Holy Week, in Málaga, Andalusia

History of Holy Week in Málaga

After centuries of Muslim influence, there was a strong conversion to Catholicism when the Catholic Monarchs' reconquista took place. This began Easter celebrations through holy processions, which have grown into the ones that we know today.

These processions are led by brotherhoods and fraternities, with la Hermandad del Cristo de La Veracruz and la Archicofradía del Cristo de la Sangre known to be the most ancient. 

Nazarenes during Semana Santa in Mlaga

Although Semana Santa officially starts on Palm Sunday, going until Easter Sunday, the confraternities begin planning many months in advance, focusing on all the smallest details. Preparation is essential so that the huge thrones or tronos, musical groups, traditional dress, pointed hoods, and other elements that accompany the processions through the city are perfectly prepared.

Procession route during Semana Santa

All brotherhoods follow the same official procession route, which starts off at Alameda Principal,Rotonda del Marqués de Larios, and part of calle Granada.

You'll see people waiting impatiently and enthusiastically for the departure of the majestic thrones for their extensive tours of the city. A throne's exit of it's temple is an especially moving event. Some brotherhoods accompany these spectacular exits with typical Semana Santa music, as the thrones head out to a passionate and lively crowd.

Many Málaga locals, malagueños, accompany these processions, some carrying crosses and others candles.

The procession route is especially difficult for the men who carry the thrones, understandable because some thrones can weigh more than five tons, needing more than 250 men to lift them.

Palm Sunday - Domingo de Ramos

Palm Sunday in malaga city

On Palm Sunday, children are the protagonists of the morning procession of la Pollinica. In the afternoon, in the Barrio de la Trinidad, you will be able to see la Hermandad de la Salud getting ready to bring their throne out from inside the church.

Another of the most awaited moments is the rise of the throne of la Hermandad del Prendimiento to the rhythm of music through Málaga's intricate and narrow streets.

Easter Monday - Lunes Santo

Easter Monday - Lunes Santo, Malaga

Easter Monday is the day of the Lord of Málaga, departing from Barrio de la Trinidad

El Cautivo, the Captive Christ, is one of the most honoured thrones of Málaga. The Infantry Regiment of Melilla parades behind this throne, which holds the statue of Christ. It is also particularly impressive to see the mountain of red and white carnations that form during these events.

Another exceptional procession on Easter Monday is the popular Cristo de los Gitanos, Christ of the Gypsies, which exits from the central Iglesia de los Mártires and is accompanied by gypsy songs.

Another interesting procession to see is the students' throne, linked to the University of Málaga.

Holy Tuesday - Martes Santo

Holy Tuesday - Martes Santo, Malaga, Andalucia

Holy Tuesday is the day of Barrio de la Victoria and it's brotherhoods, including Rocio, known as the fiancée of Málaga and dressed in white, that of Jesús de El Rescate and his colourful robes and cloaks, and that of El Cristo moreno de la Cofradía de la Sentencia

Every year on Holy Tuesday, la Virgen de las Penas wears an incredible coat made of fresh flowers, the hallmark of this brotherhood.

Holy Wednesday - Miércoles Santo

Holy Wednesday - Mircoles Santo, Malaga, Spain

On Holy Wednesday, you must make sure you see the brotherhood of Fusionadas' thrones. On this day, the brotherhood reveals four thrones. And as their name tells, this brotherhood is made up of a fusion of multiple groups.

Today, you should also look out for the parade organized by el Cuerpo de paracaidistas en la sección de Ánimas (the group of parachutists from the section of d'Ánimas). 

The Capuchinos neighbourhood hosts the exit of the the brotherhood of the Salesians' throne, La paloma (dove in Spanish), which happens to be one of the heaviest thrones of Semana Santa. This throne is supported by 280 men and doves are released as the Virgin passes during the tour.

The brotherhood of la Expiración, strongly linked to the Spanish civil guard, la guardia civil, is another important part of the tradition of Málaga's brotherhoods. 

Another typical event of Holy Wednesday is the release of a prisoner who parades barefoot with his face hidden. He wears a cross around his neck and passes along with the El Rico throne. 

Holy Thursday - Jueves Santo

Holy Thursday - Jueves Santo, Malaga, Spain

On Holy Thursday, the departure of the brotherhoods of Mena, Esperanza, and Mercy might just make this the most special day of Holy Week in Málaga.

In the early morning, thousands of people gather at the Port of Málaga to enjoy one of the most intense moments of Málaga's Holy Week: the landing of the troops of the Legion.

It is a special experience to witness the parade of these troops, proud legionaries accompanying their Cristo de la Buena Muerte, while singing the anthem of El Novio de la muerte during their tour.

Good Friday - Viernes Santo

Good Friday - Viernes Santo, Malaga, Spain

On Good Friday we can feel the silence, the atmosphere grieving the death of Christ. On this day, you can see the procession of the Christ of the Holy Sepulchre, Cristo del Santo Sepulcro, which captures absolute silence from an immeasurable crowd, with only the funeral march to be heard.

During this procession, you can see one of the smallest thrones of Holy Week; as it passes, all of the lights of the city turn off one by one. 

Easter Sunday - Domingo Santo

Holy Week in Málaga ends with the exit of El Resucitado, on Sunday of the Resurrection. This is one of the most colourful and joyful processions of the week, accompanying the risen Christ.

During this procession, there is a large representation of nazarenos from all brotherhoods and fraternities.

Some tips and recommendations during Semana Santa

Some tips and recommendations during Semana Santa, Malaga, Spain

  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Avoid using a car, go by foot or by public transport
  • Fully experience the atmosphere by visiting the brotherhoods' temples in the mornings
  • On Holy Monday morning don't miss the exit of El Cautivo, the Captive Christ, with spectators overtaking the entire neighbourhood
  • The arrival of the troops of the Legion on Holy Thursday is a must 
  • Respect the indications to cross the streets and wait for the right time to proceed; the Holy Week paraders always take precedence
  • Be careful with children and locate open spaces so that kids can also really enjoy these events
  • For food, we recommend trying one of the the 10 best tapas bars in Málaga and making sure to sample some of Málaga's best traditional tapas

Where to park during Málaga's Semana Santa

Parking in Málaga during Semana Santa is a difficult task. Roads get blocked off for the festivities and there are queues to get into the city's parking lots (shown above).

If you can do without a car, that is the best option. Take advantage of public transport including various buses and Málaga's new metro system, and head by foot through the completely walkable city.



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