Devotion - Spain Celebrates Easter

Published on 12/04/2011 in Spanish Culture

This year Good Friday falls on the 22nd April. For the people of Gualchos Castell de Ferro, this means that the Easter celebrations will prove to be a lively affair with the warm weather attracting plenty of visitors for this special time of year. The Easter ('Pascua') Celebrations are without doubt the prettiest and most moving of all the religious celebrations we have in Spain. The final reunion between Mother and Son at the end of the procession here in Gualchos Castell de Ferro is a touching and poignant moment.

In Spain it is the 'Cofradías' (Guilds) and 'Hermandades' (Brotherhoods) who organise the various processions and marches through the towns and villages. In larger cities these can start on Palm Sunday and carry on right through to to Resurrection Day. Those in Malaga and Seville are particularly famous. Here in our village we have our processions on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The people here in Castell are devout followers of the 'Cristo de las Favores' and 'La Virgen de los Dolores'.

Procession in SpainIn the marches and processions both the image of Christ and the representation of the Virgin Mary are taken from the church and paraded around the village on two separate routes. They are carried by members of the brotherhood to which each image belongs and are followed by the curious onlookers and the penitents in their long cloaks and pointed hats with veils.

All carry candles to light their way and many, as a sign of repentance, will walk the rounds barefoot. Towards midnight the two come together in the village square for their final encounter with an emotional gesture of devotion from the Virgin Mary when she bows before her son.

Such is the devotion to Easter in Spain that many of the processions have been declared of Interest to International Tourism.

Apart from the obviously religious aspect to Easter, it is also a time for enjoyment and with the ending of Lent comes the traditional fayre such as 'torrijas', a kind of sweet made with bread and also a delicious plate of cod in a tomato sauce. It's also the season for freshly picked broad beans eaten with salted cod. A favourite tapa in the bars and restaurants.

Procession in SpainAlthough the village experiences a large influx people during the Easter Week, the atmosphere remains typically Spanish with most of our visitors coming mainly from Madrid, Barcelona and Granada.

Gualchos Castell de Ferro has a great deal to offer the visitor. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the village is only one hour from Granada and the famous Moorish Palace, La Alhambra. And soaring up to dominate the entire province the majestic Sierra Nevada and the Mulhacén the highest point on mainland Spain. Indeed at this time of year you can be swimming in the Mediterranean in the morning and for the afternoon be skiing on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada over looking the city of Granada.

Written by: David L Larthe De Langladure

About the author:

David has lived and worked in Spain over over twenty years. This and other articles on The Costa Tropical and Gualchos Castell de Ferro are aimed to increase the public's awareness of the region and promote a little more tourism to an area unspoilt by over exploitation. For more info and photos on this and other topics visit http://larthedelangladure.blogspot.com




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