During the global pandemic, many of us, friends, customers, neighbors, have had to change habits, ways of life in order to cope, survive. People have had to look at life from a different angle. Whatever step of your life you are at right now, I hope this article will have a meaning for you. One more time, we are in The Holy Week. This is a special time when Christians from around the world celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of God.
Being a Spanish traveller and blogger, I visited several countries over the last few years, as part of my globetrotter lifestyle. I went to different places around the world during the Holy Week and I deeply recommend visiting the folkloric cities of Andalusia in the South of Spain, which will impact your feelings and leave you valuable and lasting memories.
As you set foot for the first time in Andalusia during the Holy Week you will be instantly immersed in the delicate aroma that impregnates the environment, feeling the emotion of a passionate saeta and the scent of incense. The Holy Week in Andalusia is globally known as one of the most followed and breathtaking celebrations in the whole world. This unique event is so historically important to Spain, that it is part of UNESCO’s cultural world heritage. So, it is the perfect time to go visit and observe another side of this incredible festivity that catches the attention not only of Christians, but also of tourists from around the world. The Holy Week of Málaga, was declared Fiesta of International Tourist Interest back in 2009.
The seven days of the Holy Week in Spain this year are from March 28th to April 3rd. The Holy Week precedes Easter for Christian communities around the globe. Christian cultures have different traditions where floats, paintings and sculptures representing the life and burial of Jesus Christ are being represented, to echo the theme of resurrection.
The parades of the Holy Week were the idea of the Catholic Church, as a way to explain the story of the Passion of the Christ to non-religious folks hundreds years ago. Although the Holy Week is witnessed in every city and town throughout Spain, you will fall in love with the intense and traditional Andalusian celebrations, particularly in the provinces of Málaga and Seville.
During the parade, the floats (group of bearers called “costaleros”) will be carried by another group of people, “Hermandad” or “brotherhood”. There are normally two groups, one for Jesus and one for the Virgin Mary. Floats are being carried away from the churches to the main Cathedral and back again, whilst a band plays music. If you witness a holy procession by yourself, you will soon realize that carrying those heavy floats is not easy. The “costaleros” who carry the floats on their shoulders are strong, they have been trained for days to walk following the same rhythm of steps, all of them together. They are at it for hours in a row, and the pain they suffer is meant to reflect what Jesus went through. The processions that accompany them are truly impressive, creative and they create an atmosphere of emotion, art with a religious significance. Onlookers sometimes cry at it, given the emotion the scenes create.
Being an eclectic music lover, I can confirm that one of the best things about experiencing the Holy Week in Andalusia is flamenco since it plays a starring role in proceedings. Flamenco songs that are played during a procession are known as “saeta”. These used to be a spontaneous outburst of emotion, but these days they are nearly always planned in advance. Many famous singers perform saeta songs during the Holy Week like Isabel Pantoja or Pastora Soler who are well known singers in Spain.
As you can see, Andalusia celebrates these seven days in a majestic way. You will discover images of great artistic worth, paraded through the streets under the warm light of candles, the color of the Nazarenes’ tunics and the music of bands with drums and trumpets. All this combined with the mixture of incense and orange blossom aroma brings out the magic and awakens a feeling of privilege in all those in attendance.
Celebrating the Holy Week by yourself
As we are still traversing a pandemic and it’s not easy to travel, there are other ways to celebrate the Holy Week by yourself at home:
-Create a Spiritual Space: set up a designated space that inspires you to pray
-Clear a table and put a plain cloth on it, add religious images like a Rosary and candles with incense scent
-Add a Bible to your library
-Display a waterfall decoration
-Grow in your faith: the Holy Week is a wonderful time for your spiritual growth. Do something each day that enhances your faith
-Read spiritual books
-Practice spiritual meditation
-Listen to angelic music
-Follow people with faith on the social media
-Make preparations: silently and faithfully prepare your home for Easter
-Create Easter cards and mail them to the ones you love
-Boil eggs and decorate them to eat them during the Holy Week
-Paint rocks and put them in your neighbors’ yards, write positive sentences on them
As Yazyk’s Chief Marketing Officer and author of this blog, I utterly recommend you to visit Andalusia for the Holy Week. You will be immersed in another century of culture, tradition and music.
Happy Holy Week to everyone and to all our special clients around the world!! Have faith and all your dreams will become real.