Holy Week in Málaga: see, smell, hear, feel
Holy Week in Málaga is once again alive, once again taking to the streets, bringing together the brotherhoods, astonishing visitors, both Spanish and foreign: captivating those who see it for the first time and leaving tears of emotion in those who have loved it for so many years.
Holy Week in Málaga is different, unique, and offers those who enjoy it an endless number of ways to experience it. For this reason, in this post, we're going to show you how to experience one of the most important periods in the city's history.
If there is one thing for which Holy Week in Malaga stands out, it is its thrones, so called because they are carried by men who carry them on their shoulders, who walk through the streets of the city from the different brotherhood neighbourhoods to the official route.
Palm Sunday kicks off with the brotherhood of La Pollinica. Together, with the Virgen de Lágrimas y Favores; Dulce Nombre, Salutación, Humildad y Paciencia, Ecce Homo, Salud, Huerto and Prendimiento are the brotherhoods that cannot be missed on the first day of Holy Week.
Monday is the day of Crucifixión, Pasión, Gitanos, Estudiantes, Dolores del Puente and Cautivo, known as the Lord of Málaga.
Rocío or 'the Bride of Málaga'; the Penas, Humillación y Estrella, Nueva Esperanza, Rescate and Sentencia complete the Holy Tuesday in Málaga.
On Wednesday we have Mediadora, Salesianos, Fusionadas, Paloma, El Rico, la Sangre and Expiración.
Those on Thursday are La Cena, Viñeros, Vera Cruz (Fusionadas), Santa Cruz, Mena, Zamarrilla, Misericordia (El Chiquito) and Esperanza.
On Friday, solemn, it is Monte Calvario, Descendimiento, Dolores de San Juan, Amor, Soledad y Traslado, Piedad, Santo Sepulcro and Servitas.
Palm Sunday brings the week to a close with the departure of the Resucitado.
Don't miss each of the thrones in their most special places: on their exits or entrances, on the bridges, along the Alameda, entering Larios Street, in the Constitution Square, heading down Granada Street, in the Cathedral, Plaza del Siglo or Plaza del Obispo. Each one is unique in every part of the city.
Holy Week in Málaga cannot be defined by a single smell. These days smell of incense, of new velvet tunics, of the flowers on the mantle of the Virgen de las Penas and on the thrones, of the petals of roses falling from the balconies onto the images. They smell of orange blossom, of burnt candles, of black mantillas. Malaga smells these days of new clothes, of sea breeze and passion.
The brotherhoods of Holy Week in Málaga accompany their processions with music composed for the occasion. Some of them may have several bands or music groups (Cruz Guía -an emblem that represents each brotherhood- and one accompanying each throne), while Servitas, for example, is only accompanied by drums.
There are more than 180 processional marches that are played during Malaga's big week, in addition to many bands that come from different parts of Andalusia and others that are specific to the Malaga brotherhoods. There are also other special bands, such as the Cornet and Drum Band of the Royal Fire Brigade of Malaga; the Cornet, Drum and Fanfare Band of the Parachute Brigade; the Cornet and Drum Band of the Civil Guard or the Legion's War and Music Band.
Also, in Holy Week you can hear the ringing of the bells, the canopies ringing against the canopy bars; the creaking of the long poles, the effort of the men on the throne, the elegant steps of the mantillas -women dressed with elegant dresses and religious shawls-, the sound of the flame of the candles or the bells of the religious administrator of the section.
And we cannot forget the Gaudeamus Igitur sung by the doctors accompanying Estudiantes, the saetas, the prayers of the Servitas Rosary or the venias in the main tribune.
Ultimately, you can feel the Holy Week in Malaga. On every corner, in every church, in the curve of Carreterías or under the throne.
You can taste the flavour of the lemon peeled lemons or the torrijas -a kind of French toast-; in the vigil and cabbage stews.
You can feel the emotion in the liberation of the prisoner of El Rico, in the petalada -the throwing of petals to a procession- to the Sentencia in Cárcer Street, in the guards of the Legion to the Cristo de Mena, in the doves of the mantle of the Paloma, in the faces of the policemen accompanying the Expiración or in the faces of the novice altar boys.
You can feel it in the street, in the atmosphere, in the early hours of the morning, in the long hours of the procession, in the dawn. Because you have to feel Holy Week in Malaga to be able to live it.