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Holy Week

Palm Sunday marks the start of Semana Santa, a week when passion and colour take over the streets
26.03.10 - 12:20 -

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Andalucía prepares for a week of religious celebration
‘Traslado’. Over the days previous to Holy Week the images are transferred to the brotherhoods’ premises ready for the processions. SUR
Normal everyday life practically grinds to a halt this Sunday as the Semana Santa celebrations take over. For the entire Holy Week, or at least Thursday and Friday in smaller places, the main streets will be lined with people watching the processions.
In the city of Malaga there will be several processions every day from around 4 p.m. until the early hours of the morning. This year more than 40 brotherhoods in the city will once again be carrying their beloved images of Christ and the Virgen Mary through the streets. All are different, from the images themselves to the colour of the tunics worn by the penitents, known as ‘nazarenos’, most of whom process wearing the striking pointed hats that cover their faces leaving just two holes for their eyes.
While every local or regular visitor has their favourite, there are a few Malaga processions that are better known than others.
The week kicks off with the Palm Sunday procession known as Pollinica which celebrates Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. This is one of the most cheerful processions and is enjoyed especially by the children. One of the seven other processions also on Palm Sunday is that of the Lágrimas y Favores brotherhood whose most famous member is Malaga actor Antonio Banderas.
Monday of Holy Week is one of the busiest days of Semana Santa in Malaga as this is the night that El Cautivo takes to the streets. This image of Christ with his hands tied is probably the one that sparks the most devotion among locals.
Religious images
One of the highlights on Tuesday of Holy Week is the ‘Fusionadas’ procession, in which Banderas also regularly takes part, unusual in the fact that rather than just the images of Christ and the Virgin Mary this procession has three Christs carried ahead of the Virgin.
Maundy Thursday is known in Malaga as the day of the Legion. Crowds flock to the city’s port to see the soldiers disembark in the morning and then to the streets later that evening to watch them march in their procession.
Finally Good Friday is the most solemn of all the nights of Holy Week, especially the last procession by the brotherhood known as Servitas when the street lights are switched off as the image of Christ approaches.
Even though the processions themselves don’t start until Sunday over the last few days many brotherhoods have been moving their images from the churches or chapels where they are kept to the starting point. These ‘traslados’ are mini processions themselves and offer a chance to see the two images of Christ and the Virgin side by side.
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