For Marbella, Spain, Semana Santa (or Holy Week) is a quieter, more meditative religious celebration of the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The entire country of Spain – every town, city and village – celebrate this occasion. This fact is a fitting testimony of this country’s Catholic heritage.
This is among the oldest and most traditional cultural events in Marbella. The celebrations are usually centered at the Old Quarter but you will see the entire town participating in this event. The date of the celebration varies depending on the Catholic calendar, but March or April is the usual schedule of the Holy Week.
It is a celebration that is held with a quiet grandiosity – the procession is one event you should not miss. The somber music (the saeta) and the grand displays of the procession combine to create an unforgettable religious experience.
The processions are spearheaded by the brotherhoods that reside in the parishes in the town. The procession participants wear long hooded gowns so as to remain anonymous – sinners seeking to be forgiven. The Nazarenes lead the procession followed by penitents that drag crosses similar to what Jesus did.
Finally, there are the "costaleros" who carry the "tronos" – floats containing religious icons. Being a costalero is considered a great privilege. It is hard work – the tronos sometimes weigh as heavy as 100 kilograms. The costaleros flock together to carry the tronos in a slow shuffle that will eventually end at the local church.
The tronos are magnificent examples of art - typically Baroque - and can be hundreds of years old. The tronos usually feature a saint or a scene from the Passion of Christ. Come Good Friday, the images of the Nuestro Señora de la Soledad, which is among the oldest images of Marbella.