Easter is just around the corner and if you are choosing where to go for a break, Maritime Holy Week Valencia – or Semana Santa – will have you captivated.
A whole host of events that sum up the destination’s love of tradition take place in its iconic El Maritim district, making Easter in Valencia unforgettable, stretching from April 10th to 20th this year. Since the 15th century, when a group including St Vincent Ferrer gathered to mark the days leading up to Easter, Maritime Holy Week has been a major spectacle in the city’s calendar, attracting the attention of both visitors and residents year on year.
Easter is a big deal across Spain but the ceremonies and celebrations in Valencia make it quite unique. As well as the overall programme of events, there is one day set aside for each ‘brotherhood’ to walk in procession. Although Holy Week itself is a week long, the maritime district, which was at one point a separate to Valencia, has a carnival atmosphere, with music and performance drawing crowds in to celebrate the identity of the corner of the city.
The more formal part of Maritime Holy Week in Valencia is the costumes and characters involved with the processions and processional carriages. Figurines and people dressed as Pontius Pilate, Herod, Salome, and the Virgin Mary walk through the streets to the tune of traditional music and church bells.
Participants in parades wear authentic costumes and intricate hairstyles. The most important of these processions is considered to be the scared burial, when groups gather on floats representing the Passion of Christ.
You can download a Maritime Holy Week programme from the Visit Valencia website.
Valencia Tourism has released exclusive special offers for Easter in Valencia 2014. For more information, go to the Visit Valencia website.
Find official updates on Maritime Holy Week, also known as Semana Santa, on the Semana Santa Marinera de Valencia website.