26 SPANISH EASTER CELEBRATIONS DECLARED FESTIVALS OF INTERNATIONAL INTEREST
Holy Week is celebrated in early April and is a very culturally important festive period in Spain. Throughout the country incredible processions take place that are followed by grand celebrations where visitors can marvel at the artwork and enjoy the local gastronomy.
The General Secretariat of Tourism of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, has awarded 26 celebrations with the distinction of Festivals of International Interest. As well as Seville, those declared of interest are those of Malaga and Granada in Andalusia; Zaragoza and Teruel, in Aragon; Crevillente and Orihuela in Alicante, Cáceres, Badajoz and Mérida in Extremadura; Ferrol and Viveiro in Galicia; Cartagena, Jumilla, Lorca and Murcia in Murcia; León, Cuenca, Hellín, Toledo, Valladolid, Zamora, Salamanca, Medina de Rioseco, Medina del Campo, Palencia and Ávila in Castilla-La Mancha and Castilla y León.
As well as the iconic Semana Santa processions of Seville and Malaga, there are many lesser-known Easter celebrations that have been awarded this title in Spain that are waiting to be discovered.
SEE PASSIONATE PARADES, BIBLICAL EMBROIDERY AND HORSE-DRAWN CHARIOTS FROM THE PARADOR DE LORCA
Listed as an area of artistic and historical importance in 1964, Lorca, is a city that lies within the region of Murcia in south-eastern Spain, an area strongly influenced by Roman, Christian and Islamic civilisations. Murcia is particularly famous for its flamboyant religious parades at Easter, and there is no better way to see them than taking to its streets in Lorca. Here, travellers can catch a glimpse of easter-themed silk and golden embroideries, a 100-year-old tradition where stories of biblical tales are handwoven into the banners, capes and chariots that illuminate the city’s parades.
Located in the city’s castle grounds, Parador de Lorca shares its space with medieval remains and archaeological sites, enabling guests to continue their journey into the region’s unique historic and cultural heritage. Highlights include a tour of the historic remains of a 15th century synagogue preserved within the Parador’s walls and panoramic views of the parade from its modern, outdoor terrace.
CHECK IN TO THE PARADOR DE SALAMANCA FOR A UNIVERSITY EASTER RITUAL
Salamanca, just west of Madrid, is home to a UNESCO listed city centre and prestigious 12th century university, which makes for an emblematic backdrop to take in the city’s Easter celebrations. Quirky street performers and traditional food stalls flood the city’s central square, and its Maundy Thursday service is particularly unique to Salamanca. Professors dress in academic robes and pass under a crystal urn swinging from a 10th century archway. Attendees are treated to traditional cakes and chocolates to mark the occasion.
Situated on the left bank of the river Tormes, strategically located opposite the historic city centre, lies the Parador de Salamanca. It’s a modern and elegant building that provides easy access and an exceptional viewpoint from which to watch Salamanca’s most iconic buildings come to life at Easter. Guests can take in the sights while swimming in the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool, relaxing in the garden or lounging in its large, spacious bedrooms through its elegant, large windows.
UNCOVER A NAUTICAL SIDE TO EASTER WITH PARADOR DE FERROL
Easter in Ferrol, a coastal city located in Galicia, northern Spain, is closely linked to its nautical heritage, having been a major naval port since the 18th century. The most unique event takes place on Good Friday and is characterised by a parade of military and naval representations, including sailors, marines, and soldiers. They carry religious figures and a 130-year-old urn made of rosewood and glass, that has been carefully preserved by the local religious community, through the heart of the city centre.
Housed within a typical Galician mansion, Parador de Ferrol enables guests to soak up the distinctly maritime atmosphere that Ferrol brings to Eastertime. Nautical elements, including world maps and navigation tools, flood the hotel’s hallways, whilst traditional and locally sourced dishes such as Galician scallops and octopus are available for tasting in the Parador’s seafood restaurant.