The most symbolic Holy Week processions in the province of Malaga

 Tags: family

If we had to choose just one time to visit the Costa del Sol, it would be Holy Week. From Palm Sunday until Easter Sunday, the Costa del Sol is flooded with incredible symbolic imagery. The province transforms into something magical, with the smell of incense, the vibrations of the marching drums, and the bright sounds of bugles transporting you. Look up and see people on balconies singing plaintive and powerful religious songs called saetas to the crowds below; experience Easter in the Costa del Sol.

A tradition that spans five centuries brings passion and folklore together. Only in Malaga city, with more than forty confraternities does the Passion of Jesus procession take place. And that’s not all, across the whole province, you’ll find plenty of towns and villages that are worth visiting during Holy Week for the chance to experience this religious tradition in the flesh. Are you a fan of Easter? If so then read on and discover which processions in the province of Malaga are not to be missed.


Holy Week in the capital of the province

Malaga city has an official processional route where you can watch the brotherhoods’ processions without missing a thing. Although once they’ve taken this route, the groups pass through many other quieter streets so you’ll still get the chance to catch a glimpse. To the sound of the bugles and drums, you can see the sacred images that sit on their spectacular adorned thrones as they move slowly down the streets.

If you want to experience Holy Week like a true local, don’t miss La Pollinica procession, Palm Sunday, nor the El Cautivo procession on Holy Monday (the 3 April 2023), also known as El Señor de Málaga; without doubt one of the most celebrated events. Special emotional moments include the release of the prisoner by the Rico Brotherhood on Holy Wednesday, and the rosemary carpet laid down for the magnificent La Esperanza religious float on Maundy Thursday. It’s only in Malaga city that you can witness all this, making this Holy Week a one-off. Enjoy the devotion and passion felt by locals, and of course, treat yourself to a glass of wine and some tasty tapas while you’re there. 

Many who visit Malaga city for the first time over Easter want to know when the Spanish legion procession takes place as it’s one of the most famous in Spain. The Cristo de Mena (or Cristo de la Buena Muerte) procession is one of the most spectacular in the city due to the excellent carving work of the Cristo de la Buena Muerte religious statue by Palma Burgos. It also stands out because of the unique Spanish legion and Navy parade, with troops, bugle bands, and marching bands disembarking from Malaga port and making their way through the city’s streets. This year, the Cristo de Mena is on the 6 April, Maundy Thursday. 

which day is the Spanish legion procession in MalagaSource: La Vanguardia


Holy Week in other areas of the Costa del Sol

Easter processions are also a great attraction in towns such as Ronda. Here, Holy Week is even declared a Festival of Andalusian Tourist Interest and unique due to the impressive setting in which it takes place. Easter Sunday in Ronda is a must-see for example, as it’s when Nuestra Señora de Loreto is carried around the streets. And this year, the throne platform has a new mantle, and the only one carried solely by women. It’s also worth seeing the Vera Cruz Brotherhood procession, as well as the Ecce Homo Brotherhood’s, both on Maundy Thursday, as well as the Resurrection of Jesus procession on Easter Sunday.

In the town Arriate, locals dress up in their best clothes to celebrate Easter. Holy Week here has a long-standing tradition, and what sets this town apart is the tradition of dividing locals groups into two. El Santísimo Cristo de la Sangre y Santo Entierro y a la Real Brotherhood adopts the role of Christians, and the Real, Muy Antigua y Venerable Cofradía de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno takes the role of Jesuits. On the night of Maundy Thursday, the streets fill with sobriety and mystery, making way for the procession through the main streets, and finally the momentous meeting of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

Another fascinating feature of Holy Week in Arriate is that it’s the only town in the province that organises a procession on Holy Saturday; the solemn Sacred Burial of Christ procession, with Jesuits dressed in the traditional attire of purple tunic and white hood. 

Holy Week in Archidona is also very famous in the province of Malaga. The most distinctive part of this town’s celebration is the presence of los campanilleros: a group of brotherhood members leading the various processions with rhythmic chiming bells. One of the most exciting moments of Holy Week in Archidona is seeing the throne floats La Huía and La Embajá del Ángel, both owned by the Huerto Brotherhood, are magnificent adorned platforms on display in the streets on Holy Wednesday.

Holy Week in Alhaurín el Grande is another opportunity for you to see one of the best examples of the Easter celebration in the province. One of the highlights in this town is the live reenactment of the Passion of Jesus Christ, as well as the carefully planned processions that travel through the streets. It’s worth seeing those organised by the two local brotherhoods, Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (or Los Moraos), and the Brotherhood of Santa Vera Cruz (or Los Verdes), which in the evening of Good Friday perform impressive reenactments. The tradition is kept alive in Alhaurín el Grande, and for that reason it has been declared a Festival of National Andalusian Tourist Interest.

If we continue travelling inland within the Costa del Sol, we’ll arrive at Antequera where Holy Week is taken as seriously as anywhere else in the province. This town has its very own tradition called  “Correr la Vega”, where bearers carry the religious thrones as they race up the steep slopes of the city. Another special custom during Easter is “el encuentro”, the thrones from the same or different brotherhoods turn to face each other in a symbolic meeting of unison. In Antequera, two brotherhoods organise processions on Maundy Thursday: El Consuelo and Dolores.   

 what’the origin of holy week processions


Heading back to the coast, more places to visit during Holy Week are Fuengirola (famous for its Sevilian Baroque religious images), and Marbella. In Fuengirola, the processions by the Nazarenos del Santísimo Cristo de la Caridad Brotherhood and the Santísimo Cristo Yacente de la Paz Brotherhood, both on Good Friday this year, are very popular. And in Marbella, some of the most revered religious figures are those of Nazareno Brotherhood, seen on Holy Wednesday, and the Virgin Mary, la Soledad, which will be on display on Good Friday.

In Torremolinos, the religious floats to look out for are those of Nuestra Señora Madre del Buen Consejo Parish Church, which will be on display in the centre of the town. And if you head to the Calvario neighbourhood, Nuestro Señor Cristo Resucitado Parish Church parades their figures on the days that coincide with the Holy Week events. And finally, one of the processions you can’t miss in Torremolinos is la Pollinica on Palm Sunday.

Holy Week in Vélez-Málaga is a Festival of National Tourist Interest in Spain, and has 19 brotherhoods that organise at least one procession each. In total, you’ll be able to see 27 different religious throne platforms whose detailed adornment will amaze you. In addition, Easter Sunday morning sees all the brotherhoods parade the town’s streets together.

Besides the Easter processions, there are lots more traditions in the Costa del Sol taking place during this religious week. These include the Verdes and Moraos brotherhoods in Alhaurín Grande, who face one another on Easter Sunday in a dramatic and symbolic encounter. There’s also the moving and theatrical reenactment of the life, Passion, and death of Jesus Christ called El Paso, performed in lots of towns including Riogordo, Benalmádena, Villanueva de la Tapia and Cajiz. Another dramatised spectacle to see is La Pasión, acted out this year in Alozaina, Istán, Carratraca, and Casarabonela, which depicts the episodes of Jesus’s life from the Last Supper, to his crucifixion and death. These unique traditions, only seen over Easter, are a great excuse to visit one of these towns during the holidays.

malaga holy week


All the processions mentioned here are just the start, as there are heaps more processions to see in the province of Malaga. If you’re planning a trip during Holy Week, visit the Costa del Sol for a different experience, and be greeted with rich traditions and culture tempting you to stay.

Nueva llamada a la acción


Search in
our blog

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

All about the Costa del Sol in your inbox

Submit your email address and receive exclusive information and great offers about the Costa del Sol.


Nueva llamada a la acción

Related posts