Holy Week is known as ‘Semana Santa’ in Spain and is most widely celebrated in the towns and cities of Andalucia. In Seville it is one of the city’s two biggest annual festivals along with the April Fair (Feria de Abril) which follows two weeks later.
Semana Santa takes place the week leading up to the Easter weekend and consists of processions in which enormous ‘pasos’ (floats) are carried around the streets of Seville by teams of ‘costaleros’ (bearers) followed by hundreds of ‘nazarenos’ (penitents). Many of these floats are religious works of art that date back as far as the 17th century, each showing a small part of the Easter story.
Throughout the city thousands of people line the streets waiting to catch a glimpse of the processions, each of which takes many hours between leaving its parish and returning there after following a set route around the city. Each of over 50 brotherhoods (cofradías) have two floats so you can imagine the enormity of the occasion.