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The Traveller's Magazine
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If you’re tired of the annual Easter egg hunt, then try something different this year. Spain’s Easter traditions go back to medieval times and are still practised today. Seville is the perfect place to experience Semana Santa. Fly from London for £177 onboard Ryanair.

Semana Santa is one of the most popular times to visit Spain, and for good reason. Cities and towns across the country celebrate the final days of Christ with processions, sometimes candlelit, carrying ornate and intricate floats of Christian effigies. It’s a celebration that bring everyone out into the streets and if there’s one place to experience it, it’s Seville in the heart of Andalusia.

Travelling to Spain during Easter isn’t cheap but Ryanair is still your best bet to catch flights to Seville for less than £200. Take off on April 12th from London Stansted Airport and stay in Seville until April 19th for £177 (return, all taxes and fees included). Late spring is usually gloriously warm in the south of Spain, so enjoy your days sightseeing and touring during the mornings, and enjoying the festivities and processions in the afternoons and evenings.


Semana Santa celebrations 2014

What is it?

Holy Week, Semana Santa in Spanish, is an ancient and sombre celebration of Christ’s last days and as millions of people flock to Seville for the processions, it’s really an incredible experience. It’s an entire week of pageantry and art as nearly 70 cofradias (church brotherhoods, some that date as far back as the 16th century!) march down the streets carrying gold-gilded floats on their shoulders.


When is it?

Seville’s streets will be filled with medieval robed and hooded figures from April 13th to 20th, 2014 carrying incredible life-sized Christian effigies through the city. This is where the processions will take place during the week:

  • April 13 – La Paz is one of the few cofradias to pass through Maria Luisa Park and should not be missed. Make sure you’re at the Plaza de España by 2:30pm to see it. La Hiniesta will come through the narrow, Gothic entryway of the church in Plaza San Julian at 3pm and is definitely something to see.
  • April 15 – For a candlelit walk, head to San Bernardo around 8:30pm when dark, hooded characters walk along the streets with tall red candles. It’ll transport you back in time.
  • April 16 – To watch the procession through Plaza Encarnacion, get a good spot on the steps of the Metropol Parasol.
  • April 17 – Traditionally women wear black dresses with lace veils on this day when the procession crosses San Telmo bridge around 4pm, passing the Torre del Oro.
  • April 18 – Good Friday is the climax of the week when the city’s two favourite Virgins make their appearances, Triana and Macarena. La Macarena emerges from her Basilica at midnight. The oldest brotherhood, founded in 1340, is called El Silencio. They take to the streets at 1:30am when all the street lights in Plaza del Duque are turned off.

Have you ever experienced Semana Santa in Spain? What were your first impressions?

Offer found on 19/03/2014 at 10:00, price cannot be guaranteed.
Imgs: tacoekkel, juanedc  / Flickr cc.

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