Semana Santa or Holy Week is an incredible but intense time to visit Spain. While many foreigners know about the processions in Seville not many people know there are alternatives if you are on a budget or want to avoid the crowds. Semana Santa in Murcia is a wonderful alternative if you have a taste for less touristic places.
Semana Santa in Murcia. The main events and processions
Events officially start with the end of Lent on Palm Sunday. If you are around that day you might see small parades with people carrying palm leaves on their way to church.
The week that follows Palm Sunday is Semana Santa or Holy week. Schools close, there are bank holidays and Nazarenes and processions take over the city
Civitatis offers free walking tours in most Spanish cities (and the rest of the world).
The main processions in Murcia during the Holy Week
Holy Wednesday, when Semana Santa begins in Murcia
From 18:00 h Nazarenes in red take over the city centre departing from El Carmen Church. There are bands, religious sculptures and the Nazarenes give away treats to the kids.
You might notice some of them are barefoot, others carry heavy crosses and some of them have their faces covered. Those are the penitents.
They do so in the believe that they are paying for their sins and seeking forgiveness from God.
Good Thursday. The Silent Procession
It is a solemn parade to take Jesus Christ in the cross around town. It starts at 22:00 h with the city in complete darkness, only lit by candles. They march in complete silence only broke by the choir.
It is one of the most impressive processions happening during Holy Week in Murcia. It starts in the San Lorenzo Church. The Nazarenes are dressed in black or purple and they carry no treats for the kids in this one.
Good Friday. The longest of the processions happening in Semana Santa in Murcia
One of the biggest procession happens in Friday and starts with the first ray of sun. The floats with the sculptures (Called pasos in Spanish) representing the most important moments of the last days of Jesus (Like the Last supper or the Passion of Christ) are carried by the Nazarenes around town.
The beautiful sculptures were created by local artist Miguel Salzillo in the 18th century.
The Nazarenes are dressed in purple and they carry with them treats and sweets to give away to the kids.
A small procession happens in town to commemorates the death of Christ. The Nazarenes parade a float with a sculpture of Christ laying down and Mary in mourning.
Good Sunday, the most peculiar of the processions during Easter in Murcia
On Sunday, from around 8 am in the morning, Nazarenes dressed in white take over town to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It is generally cheerful and the kids favorite.
The most famous part of is the imprisoned devil in chains taken being parade around by kids dressed as angels.
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