HOW THE HOLY WEEK IS CELEBRATED IN CATALONIA?
DISCOVER THE CATALAN TRADITIONS DURING THE HOLY WEEK
The Holy Week is the Christian commemoration of the Passion, the death and the Resurrection of its messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, son of the Lord. During these days, between Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday, believers organize processions and perform religious acts in memory of Christ. In each territory, it is celebrated in a different way, each one with its own traditions and customs. Are you going to stay a few days in Catalonia? In this post we'll explain how we celebrate this religious festival and what are the best-known traditions.
1- Palm Sunday: also known as "the Palm Day"; this day is celebrated the triumphal entrance of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, just before the Lord's Supper; It is the first day of the Holy Week. According to the Catalan tradition, this day families gather at the churches and cathedrals' doors of where the bishop blesses the palms and olive branches; At this moment the protagonists are the children, who strike the ground with their palms to give a festive touch to this celebration. At the end of the blessing, everybody goes inside of the temple in a procession; the bishop officiates a sermon and reads several verses of the Passion.
In Barcelona, this day there's the "Procesió de la Burreta", in Sant Augustí's church, where Jesus is represented on top of a donkey, as the New Testament tells about his entrance to Jerusalem.
2- Holy Thursday: The celebration of the Lord's Supper is commemorated, it was the last that Christ made with his disciples before being betrayed by Judas Iscariot and consequently, crucified. Some of the well-known representations in Catalonia are "La Dansa de la Mort" of the "Processó de Verges" of Girona, "La Processó del Silenci" of Lleida or another with the same named from of Badalona, wich is one of the oldest processions in the history of this religious festival in Catalonia.
3- Good Friday: This is one of the most important moments of this commemoration of the last days of the Messiah because his death on the Cross is remembered. This is a day of mourning and respect for Christians; Masses are celebrated in honor of the death of Jesus from Nazareth which is also represented by a lot of spectacular Via Crucis around Catalonia, some of the most appreciated are the represented in Sant Hilari de Sacalm or in Sant Climent de Sescebes, without a doubt two essentials of Catalonia. "La Processó del Sant Enterrament" in Tarragona, and "La Passió" in Olesa de Montserrat are also two of the jewels of the Holy Week in Catalonia.
4- Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday: It is celebrated that Christ "rose from the dead ", according to the New Testament, after being crucified by the Romans. It is a day of joy in which "Caramelles" (typical songs from "Catalunya Vella" of religious or profane character), are sung to celebrate the miracle and also the arrival of spring. They are sung in many villages in Catalonia; Few of the most known are the "Caramelles del Roser" in Osona, "Caramelles" in Sant Pere de Ribes and in Aguilar de Segarra, where this tradition is organized with great enthusiasm.
5- Easter Monday: In Catalonia this day is festive and, even though it is popular among all families whether they are believers or not, in its religious origin it began to celebrate because the end of the restrictions of Lent arrived; According to tradition, godparents give their godchildren the "Mona de Pascua" (chocolate figures) or the "Easter Tortell" (with chocolate or not). Eating these desserts, the religious festival ends.
Live the Holy Week in Catalonia and follow the most exciting traditions and processions. In every corner of our territory, you will discover different ways to celebrate it!