Easter is celebrated throughout the world with great pomp and show. It is a major Christian festival which marks the resurrection of Jesus after the crucifixion. This day does not only mean festivity and celebrations rather it stands as the epitome of one’s faith in goodness and religion. It is one of the holiest days according to the Christian calendar and is celebrated in many different ways across the world. Though the spirit of the festival may be same, the traditions may observe a slight change as per the religious variations. In this article, we have explored about the Easter celebrations in Spain. Read on to know more about the Easter festivities of Spain, through this article.
Easter celebration in Spain is a manifestation of ancient rituals that provide glimpses to the country's fiercely religious history. The Easter Week, known in Spain as Semana Santa, begins with the Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and end with Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday). The holy week of Easter consists of days - Ash Wednesday, Lent and Good Friday. Easter traditions and rituals are marked by regional flavors across the length and breadth of Spain.
On Palm Sunday, people go to mass in the morning and children carry palm leaves to be blessed by the priest. On Palm Sunday most churches organize a parade to mark the arrival of Christ into Jerusalem. Instead of the small crosses fashioned from part of a single palm frond that are popular in many Protestant churches, the congregations in Spain carry huge, leafy palm or olive branches that have been blessed in the church.
As Ash Wednesday is the first day of the penitential season of Lent in Spain, the day is marked by a special ceremony where the ashes are placed on the foreheads of the worshippers as a sign of remorse. In the Roman Catholic churches, these ashes are specially made by burning the palm branches of the previous Palm Sunday. The philosophy behind the celebration of Ash Sunday is that if ‘you are dust, and unto dust you shall return’ symbolizing the return of Christ.
The phase of Lent begins in Spain like other places after the Ash Wednesday. During this duration, the worshippers are asked to observe a phase of penitence and observe fasts on the day of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. At the end of Lent arrives the happiness and festivities of Easter. On Easter Sunday, in Almaden de la Plata near Seville, rag and straw effigies of famous people are placed at different locations of the village. These dolls are finally torn apart and the pieces thrown into the air. In Castilblanco de los Arroyos, they place similar dummies in the streets which are later set on fire. The dolls are known as ‘Judas dolls’.
The feast of Easter Sunday on Spain is also special. On this day, godfather presents his godchild with a cake known as ‘La Mona’. These are generally traditional pan shape found in various shapes from simple round or oval to Disney characters, toys and anything else. Another popular Spanish Easter dish r is the torrijas. It is a lovely blend of slices of warm bread soaked in milk, sugar and egg, then fried in olive oil. They are served along with wine, syrup, honey, sugar or cinnamon for extra touch of festivities.