Cartagena: Where Spain’s Holy Week tradition begins

Exploring the Rich Traditions of Semana Santa: Image: Cartagena Town Hall

SEMANA Santa or Holy Week is a deeply cherished tradition throughout Spain with each region marking the occasion with its own unique customs and rituals. Cartagena, a city steeped in history, stands out during Easter as the first procession in Spain takes place in Cartagena.

Spotlight on Cartagena: Semana Santa’s First Procession

National media outlets put the spotlight on Cartagena as the Semana Santa traditions kicked off on the crowded streets in the centre of the historical city on March 23. In 2005, the Semana Santa of Cartagena received the prestigious designation of International Tourist Interest, recognising its cultural and religious significance. The Semana Santa processions in Cartagena are known for their meticulous organisation and the solemnity of the participants.

Holy Week Processions Across Spain

Throughout Holy Week, Spain’s cities and towns come alive with processions that reflect the profound religious significance of the occasion. On Holy Thursday the silent procession takes place probably the most solemn of all the processions. Good Friday, perhaps the most sombre day of Semana Santa, is marked by processions depicting the Passion and death of Christ, often accompanied by mournful music and prayers. On Holy Saturday the procession of the True Cross takes place and Easter week wraps up with a more joyful procession on Easter Sunday with the procession of the Resurrection.

Image: Cartagena Town Hall

Murcia City and Lorca: Attracting Crowds during Holy Week

Throughout the Region of Murcia, each town will organise its own processions and festivities. Many flock to Murcia city and Lorca also draws huge crowds. The president of Murcia Fernando Lopez Miras made headlines when he made a surprise appearance racing a chariot led by four horses on March 23 during Lorca’s processions.

Family-Friendly Events: Holy Week Activities in Every Town

Each town will also create a programme of events and activities suitable for all the family. Check out your town hall’s social media pages for details.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!