Semana Santa - Holy week
Semana Santa dates: 2017: 09 - 16 April | 2018: 25 March - 01 April
Semana Santa (Holy Week/easter) has been one of the most important celebrations in Seville for centuries. The other big celebration is the April Fair of Seville. It obviously is a religious celebration, but atheists too will be marveled by this impressive happening that lasts a week. It could well be considered the biggest open-air performance of the world, where the city as a whole is the stage and the people of Seville themselves are the actors.
During holy week the Cofrad√≠as (Brotherhoods or Fraternities) process in penitence through the (many narrow) streets of the city, from their church to the Cathedral and back, taking the shortest possible route, as decreed back in the 17th century. The processions consist of one or more pasos - floats which are large platforms that carry an image of Christ, of the Virgin or a Mistery (a set of images which represent a scene from the Passion of Christ). These floats are being followed by a great number of Nazarenes or Penitents that carry candels, banners and their well known tunics.
Starting on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), and ending on Domingo de Resurrecci√≥n (Easter Sunday), there are 57 brotherhoods that pay the religious visist to the Cathedral of Seville, the third largest Cathedral in the world.
Hotels and accommodations for Semana Santa in Seville
It's recommendable to make your hotel reservations well on time, otherwise the most popular hotels, hostels and apartments of Seville may be fully booked. We also recommend to consider coming on monday, tuesday or wednesday. In the beginning of the week nor the hotels nor the city are too crowded yet and you can enjoy the processions with more comfort. The number of spectators may rise up to the impressive number of one million people towards the end of the week.
Floats and processions
Most brotherhoods carry two floats:
a float with a Christ, representing the distinct stages of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ
and a float with a Dolorosa (Mary the Virgin in pain) under a canopy.
Some brotherhoods even carry three floats, like the so-called: El Amor, La Cena, San Benito, or la Trinidad, others have just one like Santa Marta, La Quinta Angustia, la Soledad de San Buenaventura, or la Soledad de San Lorenzo.
Resuming, in the eight days of Semana Santa, a total of 57 brotherhoods, carry their 116 floats from their church to the Cathedral and back, in the company of around 60,000 brothers participating in their different appearances:
* Nazarenos (Nazarenes)
* Costaleros (float carriers)