28th February 2013
Be Hostels wants you to enjoy one special week here in Barcelona: Easter and Holy week! Here you will be able to participate in the typical “processions” and other religious and non-religious events surrounding this special holiday! Don’t miss it! It’s unforgetable!
Spain, being a Catholic country, has few religious traditions as important as Semana Santa or ‘Holy Week’. Easter is a huge event in the religious calendar and holy week sees high-profile processions take place in towns and cities throughout the country.
Barcelona is a modern and cosmopolitan city and the Easter celebrations are not quite on the same scale as those of other Spanish cities like Seville. However Catholic traditions are still an important part of the city’s cultural fabric and if you spend Easter weekend in Barcelona, there will certainly be a lot going on.
The week begins on Palm Sunday, March 24th, when a procession traditionally takes place around the cathedral with people holding palms. A week of religious ceremonies follows, ending on Easter Sunday.
The week is just as pleasant for non-Christian visitors and Barcelona looks beautiful during the celebrations. At this time of year, the sun starts its return to the city and chocolate and cake shop windows are filled with every sculpture imaginable made of chocolate – everything from Messi and Barça, to the Sagrada Familia!
What to do?
- Watch an Easter procession
Probably the most significant event in Barcelona during Semana Santa is Palm Sunday. A procession takes place in the Ciutat Vella known as La Burreta commemorating the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem on a donkey. You’ll find palm stalls throughout the centre of Barcelona selling the distinctive bleached palm fronds carried by the devout. This is just the start of a week of religious parades including Nuestra Señora de las Angustias, ‘Our Lady of Anguish’ and Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder. These are followed by María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena, ‘Our almighty Lord Jesus and the blessed Mary of hope’, on Good Friday. Both of these processions take place in the Gótico and Las Ramblas, just around the corner from BeHostels Sound, Mar and Ramblas, so keep an eye out if you’re around the city centre.
- Enjoy a “Mona de Pàscua”
Easter Monday is “el día de la mona de Pascua.” In Catalonia making the cake called the “Mona de Pascua” is an important culinary Easter tradition. These cakes are called “Monas” in Spanish and “Mones” in Catalan. Around 600,000 mona cakes are sold in Barcelona at Easter. Chocolate shops also make chocolate “monas” which you can see on display in their windows. The origins of the word “mona” aren’t clear, but it is thought that the word comes from Morocco where “mona” means “gift”, or from the latin word “muna” of the same meaning. The mona tradition, which dates back to the 15th century, is that the “mona” is a gift that a godfather (or godmother) bakes for their god-children at Easter.
Another great place to see and buy Monas de Pascua is the “Museu de la Xocolata”, the Barcelona Chocolate museum in the Born area of Barcelona’s old city center.