According to tradition, Maritime Holy Week arose in the 15th century when a group, of which
St Vincent Ferrer was prior, arose under the name of "Concordia dels disciplinants", although
there is no documentary evidence.
Certainly it has no processional floats like those of the Holy Week in Andalusia or Castile,
and it does not have such widespread renown, except for the image of Veronica by Mariano Benlliure.
However, its ceremonies and celebrations make it quite unique.
On the one hand, besides the overall programme of events, there is one day set aside for each brotherhood
to walk in procession with their image, which is moved to the home of the member whose name has been drawn.
It is traditional in Valencia for the image to be venerated in the selected member’s house, and so
it is decorated with great care.
It is also a characteristic in this celebration to have the sculpted images together with neighbours dressed
as Pontius Pilate, Herod, Salome, the Virgin… walking in procession with the bells tolling and under the
traditional music. Many of these biblical characters have been recovered from the old Corpus Christi procession.
Actually, their most striking aspect tends to be their complicated hair styles! Another peculiar tradition is the “trencà perols”, at midnight on Easter Saturday, people throw old pots and tableware and water from their windows and balconies, in stark contract with traditional Catholic Easter liturgies.
But the main event in Maritime Holy Week is the SACRED BURIAL, a procession incorporating all the corporations and brotherhoods with their floats and images, ordered chronologically according to the passion of Christ.
This celebration, which was originated with just a few fishermen and sailors, has reached us with all the Mediterranean charisma and typical style of the area. There is less drama. They are more parades rather than processions.
Calendar of events for Maritime Holy Week
Palm Sunday. Procession of Palms
The procession of Palms commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The procession begins at 9.45 am and lasts two and a half hours, with some very moving moments including the blessing of the palms in Plaza de nuestra señora de los Ángeles.
Plaza de nuestra señora de los Ángeles
Holy Thursday. Procession of the torches
On the evening of Holy Thursday, starting at 8 pm and continuing into the small hours, the Visit of the Holy Monuments takes place to the sound of drums. Afterwards, the streets become filled with candles as different silent processions pass by.
Avenida del Mediterráneo
Good Friday. Procession of the Holy Burial.
The first important act starts at 8 am and is performed next to the shore on Playa de las Arenas, where homage is paid to the victims of the sea. At 6.30 pm the most important procession of Maritime Holy Week begins, that of the Holy Burial, which lasts for 5 hours and passes through all the streets of the coastal neighbourhoods.
Calle de la Reina
At 1 pm, the Resurrection procession begins. This colourful procession moves under a constant shower of petals which are thrown down from the balconies of houses.
Avenida del Mediterráneo