Malaga’s “Semana Santa” is not just a religious celebration. It is a tradition with five centuries of history, an incomparable cultural manifestation and a spectacle that combines art, sentiment and devotion. Living it in the front row means approaching a genuine expression of Malaga’s folklore and enjoying a unique experience.
Thrones, tons of art
During seven days, over forty brotherhoods take the streets of the capital of the Costa del Sol recreating with their processions the Passion of Christ. From Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, venerated images roam the streets carried on huge thrones of up to five tons. A weight that men and women carry on their shoulders with no other help but their own enthusiasm. The images seem to come to life and walk over the crowd. The sacred images pass by, accompanied by impressive processions and scenes of popular fervour follow, while the city vibrates to the sound of “saetas” (typical songs of the Holy Week in Spain), cornets and drums.
Did you know that the famous Hollywood star Antonio Banderas, Malaga born and raised, comes out in procession every Palm Sunday with the Virgen de Lagrimas y Favores?
Between formal and popular
In order not to miss any procession, one option is to find room in the official route. All the “cofradias” (brotherhoods) pass synchronously through this stretch between Alameda Principal, Calle Larios and Calle Granada, exhibiting their valuable heritage.
Although if you prefer to catch the emotion of this festivity, you can witness the thrones coming out and getting back in their houses of brotherhood. You could also delve into the popular environment that is created in the surroundings of the Tribuna de los Pobres, a stone staircase where people sit to contemplate the thrones. In this confluence of Calle Carreteria and the Pasillo de Santa Isabel unforgettable moments are lived every year.
Unique moments of great beauty
The procession of the Cautivo or the landing of the legionnaries who guard the Christ of Mena are two of the most important events of the Passion Week in Malaga. In addition, this sacred festivity offers other remarkable moments, such as the pardon of a prisoner by the image of Jesus El Rico or the walk of the Virgen de la Esperanza with the scent of rosemary.
Among the joy that accompanies the brotherhood of Los Gitanos and the rigorousness of the procession of the Order of Servitas, Holy Week shows a thousand and one facets. Manifestations that put the value of tradition, artistic heritage and the feeling of a city that from 9th to 16th of April will once again be the scene of an immense spectacle in the open air.
From the religious to the earthly
Whether as a couple, as a family or with friends, enjoying the Holy Week in Malaga is also taking advantage of the leisure opportunities offered by the capital of the Costa del Sol. Walk the city with a free guide of the processional itineraries, make your own route and combine the attendance to the parades with moments for relax and rest.
In bars, cellars and restaurants of the historic centre you can sample tapas or have a drink before resuming your journey through the Malaga Holy Week. And who knows: maybe if the body holds up all night, you can end up having chocolate with churros to put the finishing touch to the day.