Picture by Taco Ekkel
According to the lunar calendar, which marks the tradition, soon the biggest week in Malaga will be upon us, la semana de pasión (the Passion Week). Declared to be of Interest to the international tourist, it is a religious, social and cultural event that will leave you feeling full of emotions.
The Holy Week (Semana Santa in spanish) in Málaga will awaken your senses: the scents of orange blossom and spring, to the incense that accompanies the processions. The people of Málaga live the Holy Week with joy, applauding and cheering the Virgin, singing and throwing petals from the different balconies
For a whole week through the narrow streets of the city, amidst the hustle and bustle of the people and the noise of the drums, the enormous thrones are rocked like fishermen’s boats by the “hombres de trono” (name of the person who is in charge of carrying the throne, better known as “costaleros” in the rest of provinces).
In addition to all this, accompanying the thrones, we will see the women who mourn the death of Christ dressed in traditional clothes for mourning, the nazarenos carrying the candles and the “penitentes” (people who accompany the throne to pay respect or penance).
Picture by Hernán Piñera
One of the most shocking and beautiful moments of the Holy Week occurs when during the march, the procession stops, everyone falls silent and from one of the balconies you hear a person singing a sacred song.
On Palm Sunday, the processions come to the capital, such as “La Pollinica” with the palms and accompanied by the little ones, La Salud, or El Huerto with its real olive tree.
On Holy Monday you must not miss the procession of Our Captive Father Jesus, “el senor de Malaga” with his white silk robe, who moves slowly and walks along with thousands of nazarenos and penitentes that always accompany him. His face and hands tied to make people excited to see him.
On Monday the gypsies also come out, singing, dancing and chanting the “Moreno”, a very picturesque image, just like being in the bishop’s square listening to the “gaudeamus igitur” of the confraternity students.
On Holy Tuesday you can start the day tasting a lemon “cascarúo”. It is a tradition in the city to buy lemons in the street, peel them, chop them and taste them with a little salt to balance the acidity. Do you dare? Then we will be ready to see the bride of Malaga, the Virgin of the mist. Other processions of interest are Sentencia, Estrella, Rescate, Nueva Esperanza and La Virgen de las Penas, which will leave a trail of the scent of natural flowers.
Procession Jesús de la Sentencia – Picture by Leo Hidalgo
Wednesday is magical with the procession “El Rico”, which releases a prisoner who has never committed a violent crime and the National Police and the Virgin of Love accompany them. It may coincide with some famous actor in the streets next to Fusionadas or La Paloma. At dawn the Christ of death leaves, which will leave you speechless: the street seems darkened as the two thrones are accompanied by an elegant procession.
On Thursday we must have patience since there are many processions: La Zamarrilla, famous for the legend of the bandit and its red rose, legionaries who accompany with their songs and moves with Christ of Mena and the Virgin of Solitude. The “chiquito”, with its Malaga throne of “carrete”, “Esperanza”, the strong smell of rosemary fills the streets.
On the Friday of collection, the full moon accompanies “Descendimiento”, “Piedad”, “Sepulcro”, with its funeral march and “Servitas”, whose Virgin walks alone, dressed all in black turning off the lights where she walks.
The weekend is for rest until the Sunday of Resurrection. It is the moment to go out to enjoy the night in Puerto Marina or visit other towns in Malaga.
You cannot talk about traditions without talking about gastronomy. In addition to tasting the delicious torrijas de “Aparicio” and drinking a sweet wine in “El Pimpi” you will find a great variety of restaurants and cafes on the coast where you will fall in love with the “pescaíto frito”, anchovies, traditional marinade adobo and the famous sardines skewers.
Torrijas – picture by Tnarik Innael
If you decide to spend the days near the coast, in Benalmádena you will have the opportunity to attend your Holy Week live, where a recreation of the last days of Jesus is carried out by the people from the town.