Why do Easter dates vary? It is one of the questions we ask each year when we look at the calendar to see if Easter is coming or not. The reason for its location in the calendar is justified by historical, religious and astronomical reasons. After the beginning of spring on March 20, Easter will be the first Sunday after the full moon.
Almost every town and city in Spain will have their own Easter celebrations and almost every resident will be involved in some way. In the major cities the processions are of huge proportions, often stretching for miles. Each area, city and town differs but the thing that they have in common they all portray life, colour, culture, music and dance, all with a very religious meaning.
In Andalucia, Sevilla is the most important and most beautiful city during Semana Santa. Everywhere, processions make their way through the streets, carrying religious icons and symbols of their faith. In Seville alone there are over 100 of these such images. Semana Santa has to be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated and no words can begin to describe the emotions that flow like water, wherever you go.
The way in which many villages and towns celebrate Holy Week is so very different and one such example is Almaden de la Plata near Seville. On Easter Sunday, rag and straw dolls representing famous people are placed at different points in the streets of the village. These are finally torn apart and the pieces thrown into the air.
In Castilblanco de los Arroyos, they place the same kind of dolls in the streets but they are later set on fire. The dolls are known as juas or Judas dolls. There are many towns that celebrate with battles between ancient brotherhoods.
In major cities such as Malaga, the processions go on for miles and will last until the early hours of the morning, every night through the Easter week.
You will find, anywhere in Spain, during the celebrations that accommodation is very difficult to find, especially in the cities. Many people resort to booking a year in advance. You may also find that the price of accommodation will be artificially inflated for this week.
Semana Santa, like any other festival, has its own special flavours. The tradtions can vary to some degree, when it comes to food, depending on where you are celebrating in Andalucia. However, you can expect local "Menus of the Day" to feature fish and vegetables. The Andalucian garbanzos con bacalao (chickpea and cod stew) is a favourite in many areas as well as a vegetarian dish called garbanzos con espinacas (chickpeas with spinach, which usually has a lot of garlic and is a wonderfully tasty way to eat spinach). People of Andalucia also love tortillas de camarones which are shrimp fritters from the Cadiz province. They are made with a batter of wheat flour, chickpea flour, water, onion, parsley, shrimp, salt and pepper.
When it comes to desserts, the whole Spain love torrijas which is similar to a French toast. They usually eat roscos and pestinos too. Roscos are very similar to American donuts and pestinos are delicious kind of pastry that is popular in Andalusia and other regions of Southern Spain. It is actually a piece of dough, deep fried in olive oil and glazed with honey or sugar.
To help you, there is an app for both Android and iOs. You can just type Semana Santa Sevilla 2017 and it will show you an app that you can download for free. You can see the program there, what is happening where and even the changes in the city.
Do not forget to take enough time when coming outside into the crowded streets. However, every person needs to live through the Holy Week in Sevilla or Andalucia at least once and we guarantee that you will not regret it!