Easter in Spain is a very special time. Your local city or town will have some kind of festival, mostly religious. The parades are amazing, some solemn and very serious but others colourful and joyous. You should see them. YouTube has many Semana Santa videos to watch, including Elche and Alicante, the nearest cities to the Hondon Valley.
Over the Easter period, thirty one brotherhoods made up of about 7,000 devotees participate in Elche’s Holy Week processions. They organise and enact 33 processions starting on the morning of Palm Sunday and concluding on Resurrection Sunday. There are parades, beautiful floats, ceremonies, drum bands, music and food. Many many children dress up and march too. 100,000’s of people attend to make a great atmosphere.
The procession of Palm Sunday was declared of International Tourist Interest on July 22, 1997.
Palm Sunday and dates back to 15th century with the foundation of the religious brotherhood known as La Cofradía de la Sangre de Cristo. The Municipal Council of Elche agreed to allocate the celebration to include processions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday following. It’s a long one!
Cristo Nazareno (Christ of Nazareth) can be seen carried in the “Passion of Christ” parade on Good Friday. Also the festival goers will see images of Our Lady known as the La Virgen de la Soledad. Elche’s main cathedral of Santa Maria is a focal point of course. The city looks great and welcomes tourists.
The white palms procession on Palm Sunday has its origins in Jerusalem, where it was celebrated as a reminder of the triumphal entry of The Lord into the Holy City. During the Middle Ages this procession acquired great importance occupying the centre of the celebration with white palm also introduced into the procession of bouquets. it is also the custom to hang blessed palms on people’s balconies of Elche. This custom is a symbol of protection of the house, as the palm has been blessed.
Also, you can visit the “Mercado de Palma Blanca”, and other attractions, bars, restaurants in the week before and after Palm Sunday. Enjoy a day in Elche over Easter… it’s a real treat into Spanish culture and family life.