Semana Santa

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Did you locate a Spanish word in your research that you are uncertain about? Maybe you just came across a page that is entirely written in Spanish. Either way, these online translators will help you better understand the word that troubles you.

Google Translator

For instructions on how to use Google Translator, click here.

Google Map Challenge

Semana Santa is a holiday that doesn't exclusively belong to one particular Spanish city. In fact, many Spanish cities celebrate Semana Santa in similar ways.

Your challenge is to perform a Google search to discover some of the cities where there are larger Semana Santa celebrations. Then, use the Google Map link below to create a Google Map that pinpoints where some of the better known Semana Santa holidays can be located.

Google Maps

When you're finished, use the "What Do You Think Box?" to post a link to your Google Map. Then check back frequently to see if your map is linked to this page.

The Processions

The most significant of customs during Semana Santa are the numerous processions that are held. These processions move very slowly throughout the streets of the cities celebrating the holiday and hold deep religious significance.

Fiona Flores Watson briefly discusses the processions of Semana Santa for Andalucia's visitor's guide.

"Processions During Semana Santa"

Mislav Poplovic attempts to clarify various world cultures and practices. In his "Semana Santa: Traditions and Customs," Poplovic discusses the importance of the Semana Santa processions to the Spanish culture.

"Semana Santa: Traditions and Customs"

Go Madrid breaks down the various types of processions during Semana Santa and when connects them to the days they are held.

"Holy Processions During Easter Week"

What Is Semana Santa?

Spain has a lot of wild and crazy festivals. However, Semana Santa is not one of them. In fact, this festival/celebration is probably the most solemn of them all. Explore the links below to learn a little more about this religious festival.

Lonely Planet features a blog that discusses the main attractions of Semana Santa. There's also a lot of pictures here that help to highlight what this festival is and how it is celebrated.

"Semana Santa in Seville, Spain" has a PowerPoint presentation which covers the essentials of the holiday, including where it is located, why it is celebrated, etc.

"Semana Santa: Easter in Spain"

CurrentTV hosts a video which highlights some of what goes on during the Semana Santa holiday.

"Semana Santa, Passion--Holy Week in Malaga"

Origins of Semana Santa

Photo Credits

Spain Online's article "Las Procesiones de Semana Santa," while focusing on the processions of Semana Santa, does a nice job of addressing the origins of the holiday and how it came to be celebrated as it is today.

"Las Procesiones de Semana Santa"

"Semana Santa"

The Brotherhoods

There are hundreds of brotherhoods, or confradias,  dedicated to Semana Santa throughout Spain. To learn more about how these nazarenos dress and what type of dress is specific to their brotherhoods, check out the links below.

The 28 Brotherhoods of Semana Santa in Valencia, Spain

The link below illustrates the key components of the brotherhoods and what their functions are in the Semena Santa holiday.

A Guide to the Brotherhoods

The Nazareno

What is a nazareno? Why do they dress eerily similar to the Ku Klux Klan? Samantha Kett's "Semana Santa Explained: What Goes on Beneath Those Strange Pointy Hoods?"

"Semana Santa Explained"

In "Why the Ku Klux Klan Hats?", verifies that here is no connection between the nazareno and the Ku Klux Klan.

"Why the Ku Klux Klan Hats?"

Seville's "Nazarenos de la Semana Santa de Sevillia" provides a little more information on the nazareno and their significance. Note: You will need to translate this page with Google Translator to read the information in English.

"Nazarenos de la Semana Santa de Sevillia"

Semana Santa Holy Days

Semana Santa is a week long religious celebration in Spain, (like Easter in the US, but, as you can see from this page, much different). Here are the major religious days that are celebrated during Semana Santa and it is likely that processions will take place on these days. Try performing a Google search to see what these Spanish named holy days are in English!

Domingo de Ramos

Jueves Santo

Viernes Santo

Sabado Santo

Domingo Santo

Want to Learn More?

You might locate some of these titles in your classroom or be able to find them in your local library.

Spain: A Primary Source Cultural Guide

World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals

Festivals and Rituals of Spain


Semana Santa