Perhaps you have heard of or read about Holy Week in Sevilla, the most famous Easter celebration in Spain! Yet Easter is celebrated across the whole country with similar customs and traditions.
Almost every village in Spain celebrates “Semana Santa” with parades and events, representing the Bible’s passages.
If you are visiting Valencia for a few days, you’ll have the chance to watch one of these parades in the “Poblats Marítims” district, until next Sunday April 21st.
These neighborhoods are renowned for making their living from fishing and the sea, which was not always a certain way of life. That’s why they have a strong religious heritage, praying for safety and security of their fishermen.
Fortunately for Valencia’s cultural patrimony, the district has retained its personality and identity so much so that it celebrates Holy Week in its own way.
One of the most characteristic traditions of their parades is directly related to what we mentioned earlier. Mediterranean Sea life meant work and also death for fishermen out at sea. That’s why they carry a statue of Christ to the beach and offer their prayers by throwing flowers in the sea, in remembrance of those who died out at sea.
Everyday from the Friday of Sorrows (April 12th) until Easter Sunday (April 21st), there will be at least one parade leaving one of the many churches in the district and walking through the streets of the neighborhood. For those parades, brotherhoods dress up in traditional attire so it’s not strange to see people dressed as hooded penitents, Roman legionnaires, French soldiers and other biblical characters.
Despite their traditional take on Easter, they are in Valencia, which also means fireworks! Christ’s Resurrection is celebrated every year with noisy and colorful fireworks at midnight on Holy Saturday.
This marks the start of the party and is followed by the “Trencà dels Perols”. This is a tradition where local people throw their old pots, pans and crockery onto the streets out of the windows or from the balconies “Out with the old, and in with the new” is the essence of this unusual tradition.
If you are interested in finding out more about the “Maritime Holy Week” in Valencia, check out the following link with the schedule of the various parades that will be taking place. Click here.