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|Semana Santa de Málaga Easter Week in MálagaA beautiful procession in honour of the Virgin of the Sorrows, which takes place early Friday morning, illuminated only by the long candles of the Nazarenes is one of the many highlights of this fascinating week.
The Easter week celebrations in Malaga are famous for their huge processional pasos (religious statues), some of which require more than two hundred "costaleros" to carry their weight. This celebration is also known for the freeing of a prisoner. The tradition dates back to the reign of Charles III, when prisoners in Malaga, as a protest against the suspension of Easter week processions due to an epidemic, mutinied and broke open the prison doors in order to take their statue of Jesús Nazareno out onto the streets on their shoulders. Once the image was returned to the temple, they all went back to their cells. News of this reached the king, who bestowed upon the image, called 'Jesus the Wealthy' since then, the privilege of releasing one prisoner each year.
This procession is on Easter Wednesday and the traditional act of amnesty is one of the fiesta’s most unusual moments. It takes place at 8.30pm, close to Plaza de la Aduana Square: the edict of liberation is read to the prisoner in a solemn ceremony. Kneeling before the statue, he/she receives the blessing of “Jesús el Rico” – the statue has an articulated arm. Later, the prisoner accompanies the procession on its way through the city.
Easter week is one of the most spectacular and emotional fiestas here. Religious devotion, art, colour and music combine in acts to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ: the processions. Members of the different Easter brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets carrying religious statues (pasos) to the sound of drums and music – scenes of sober beauty.
Tourist Office: Pasaje de Chinitas, 4 - 29015 Málaga (Malaga)
Tel. +34 952213445Fax +34 952229421
Cofradía de la Humiliación Semana Santa is one of Southern Spain's most famous religious celebrations and has become a major part of the booming tourism industry in the region. Every year, the different stages of the Via Crucis, or Way of the Cross, are commemorated in every Andalusian town and city with ornate processions that have a long and rich tradition. In Malaga, a series of richly decorated processions takes place from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
Each paso or procession is led by an hermandad or brotherhood, each of which has its own history and traditions. La Hermandad del Cristo de la Veracruz and La Archicofradia del Cristo de la Sangre are among Málaga's oldest, dating back to the 15th and early 16th centuries respectively.
Some of Málaga's most distinctive processions take place on Palm Sunday. The children's Pollinica procession on this day is the first paso taken to the streets every year and the spectacular Cofradia del Cristo de la Esperanza en su Gran Amor, which pilgrims must carry on their knees according to tradition, gives visitors a taste of the unique character of Málaga's celebrations.
The 20th century is referred to as the "golden revival" of Málaga's processions. Following the 19th century decline in religious traditions due to the Napoleonic wars, which led to the disappearance of many cofradías, the 20th century witnessed the revival of the city's Easter traditions.