Holy Week in Málaga
At Easter in Andalusia the streets of towns and cities are filled with people who walk in search of some procession. Design a Spanish plan for this year.
The celebration of Holy Week in Spain is spectacular, specifically in the provinces of Andalusia, in southern Spain and especially in the cities of Seville and Malaga. However, it is not the only time in the year that there are processions. If you visit Malaga in September you will witness the departure of the Throne of the Virgin of Victory.
The celebration of Holy Week dates back to the time of the Catholic Monarchs, and is still very popular with Spanish citizens and tourists today. During this celebration the “thrones”, or floats, which are located in the churches, are held up by a large group of “costaleros”. The people who form the procession are part of a brotherhood, which is also known as a “Cofradía” in Spanish. In addition there are the “nazarenos”, people who are in penitence who accompany the thrones from the front and from behind.
In order to ensure anonymity, the Nazarenes wear suits with pointed hats, which are called “capirotes”. Many people may think that the suits have something to do with the Ku Klux Klan because of its resemblance. This is a centuries-old tradition that tells the story of Jesus Christ.
Easter in Spain begins on Sunday at the end of March or the beginning of April one week before Easter. This festival will last 7 days until next Sunday, when the celebration reaches a spectacular end.
In the following list you can find out what Malaga has to offer in Easter each day:
The first day of Holy Week in Malaga will have 12 processions that march at different times and places through the city. It is recommended to see the procession of the “Pollinica”. This procession represents the day Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, on a small donkey.
During Easter Monday in Malaga, the first procession recommended is that of the throne of Jesus de la Columna, which is guided by the brotherhood of “Los Gitanos”, or gypsies. They will be singing and dancing following the image of Jesus. Another suggestion that our Spanish school recommends would be to see the image of Jesus Coronado de Espinas. This procession is led by “Los Estudiantes”. Then another image tells the story that Jesus has been captured. On this throne Jesus dresses in white with and has his hands tied with strings, and is known as “El Cautivo” (The Captive).
The best Holy Tuesday processions in Malaga are Las Penas, La Estrella and El Rocío. The procession of Las Penas leads to the image of Cristo de la Agonía and La Virgen de las Penas. The image shows that Jesus has been crucified and is suffering, followed by Mary crying, who wears a cape made of flowers. Each year the Virgin has a new cape made from the flowers of the Town Hall. And finally, the Virgin of the Rocío who is dressed in white, as if it were a wedding dress. This is why this Virgin is known as “the bride of Malaga”.
On Holy Wednesday in Malaga, it is recommended to see the procession of “El Rico” because the Brotherhood of this procession has a special history. It is said that many years ago, when people died of the plague, there were not enough costaleros to carry the images through the streets. In order to acquire more costaleros, the Cofradía asked prisoners in jail to help them. The prisoners helped the brotherhood by carrying the throne through the streets without fleeing. Some time later, King Charles III who was impressed by this promised that each year a prisoner would be released because of his loyalty. The only condition is that the prisoners who are released are not convicted of murder.
During Holy Thursday OnSpain recommends three processions. The first procession is carried out by the brotherhood of the Christ of Good Death. This procession is led by legionaries, who carry the image of Jesus crucified, who died this Thursday. The image is followed by the image of Lady of Solitude. The legionnaires arrive by boat at the port of Málaga and go from there to the church to accompany the costaleros.
The second procession is called Zamarrilla, which bears the name of a bandit. Legend has it that the bandit was a fugitive who tried to hide from the police who were looking for him. According to the legend Zamarrilla found a church nearby and hid behind the skirt of the Virgin who was there. The police did not find him and went on. As a token of gratitude, Zamarrilla nailed a white rose to the Virgin’s chest that miraculously changed to red.
The third procession is the climax of Holy Thursday. During this procession the Virgin of Hope is being guided through the streets. It is said that this Holy Week throne of Malaga is the heaviest and one of the most luxurious in the world. The number of costaleros of this fleet has more than one hundred people, who walk on rose petals that people throw in front of them.
On Good Friday in Malaga it is recommended to go to the procession of the Virgin of Servitas. During this procession, late at night, all the lanterns and lights in the shops are turned off in order to achieve a more melodramatic effect. The Nazarenes walk with candles behind the image of Mary who wears black, as this procession from Malaga represents the burial of Jesus.
On this day in Malaga, Easter Sunday, Jesus has risen, and it is a day of joy and happiness for all. The Nazarenes take off their hoods and wear colourful clothes. On the other hand, on this day all the Brotherhoods accompany the procession that starts in the centre of Málaga.
To consult the timetables of the processions and for more information visit the official website of Holy Week in Malaga.