Semana Santa in Malaga, Spain

Holy WeekSemana Santa in Malaga is an unforgettable experience with a great power to move your soul. You cannot help but get caught in the religious fervor, tradition and solemnity of the celebration. The celebration of Semana Santa in Malaga is one of the largest in Spain. Visitors from Spain and all over the world fill the streets, sometimes almost doubling the city’s population!

During the entire week, the streets are filled with people as large flotillas form processions along the city’s main streets. Tronos are large flotillas that carry images of saints or depict scenes from the Passion and Death of Christ. This is a very solemn week, a time for contemplation and meditation rather than festivity and merriment. Even if you are not religious, you cannot help but get caught up in this exhibition of the Catholic faith. As the processions passthe streets, the slow beating of the drums and the saeta (sacred songs that are sung during the processions) fill the air with a moving and meditative atmosphere.

Holy WeekThe tronos (or thrones) are carried by the "costaleros" with much measured and graceful passion. The flotillas are magnificent; carefully crafted and adorned, some of these have been used in processions for centuries. The statues housed in the flotillas are usually great works of art in themselves.
On Monday, the streets are filled with people as the tronos are paraded through the main parts of the city. The throng of people, sometimes reaching up to 25,000, follow the tronos throughout the city. Tuesday is the day for the Virgen del Rodo, also called the Novia de Malaga. Much loved by the Malaguenos, the Virgen del Rodo marks the streets with white. People stand and call to her as her trono passes by.
Holy WeekWednesday is a celebration of the blessing to be given by Jesus El Rico. This image is also paraded throughout the city – the procession begins at the Palacio de la Aduana. The image is equipped with a mechanism that causes it to make arm movements that show the cross sign. A prisoner is freed on this day. The prisoner must have no blood crimes and should follow the procession the entire time. To announce the arrival of the Virgen de la Paloma, rose petals are scattered and hundreds of pigeons are freed. Wednesday is also the time for the Cofradia de la Expiradon, whose steps remain unchanged after over 70 years.

The scent of rosemary wafts in the air on Thursday as the procession of the Cofradia de la Esperanza passes along the streets. On Friday and Saturday, you can witness the processions of the Riogordo, which shows the Passion and death of Jesus.