Missing Las Fallas already? Fear not. Semana Santa is just around the corner! Just when you thought you’d seen the back of parades and fireworks, Valencia’s Easter celebrations are set to begin this Friday 31st March with a series of processions in the Poblats Marítims district. Surely you must know by now that Spaniards don’t do half measures when it comes to festivals! From chucking tomatoes at La Tomatina to running away from bulls in Pamplona, these weird and wonderful festivals are testament to the country’s rich cultural heritage. Maritime Holy Week in Valencia is no exception. With elaborate floats and penitents in pointed hoods, the old fishing quarter of Valencia comes alive this weekend to celebrate the religious festivity.
Although Andalusia is famous for its celebrations during Semana Santa, the festival is celebrated throughout Spain with unique traditions specific to each region and resilient to the passing of time. In Valencia, it’s all happening at the beach! Several processions with marching bands, hooded brothers and flowers will take to the streets of the seaside district. The most significant is the 8:00am parade on Good Friday where the brotherhoods carry the statues of Christ on the cross into the water at Malvarrosa. In one of the most poignant and emotional acts of the festival, wreaths and flowers are thrown into the water while people offer prayers for those who have lost their lives at sea. Later that day is the procession of the Holy Burial at 18:30pm, which commemorates Jesus’s death on the cross.
No festival would be complete without its food traditions and during Easter the bakeries stock up on traditional goods including Torrijas, Buñuelos and Pestiños. Monas de Pascua is also an Easter cake that is traditionally ring-shaped and surrounded by coloured hard-boiled eggs. Symbolising the end of Lent, the cake is famous in Catalonia and Valencia…two regions of Spain with many cultural overlaps.
So, if you’re planning on spending Easter in Valencia, it would be a good idea to base yourself around the El Cabanyal district to make the most of the celebrations. While you’re there, you can explore the beautiful building façades and tiles in this upcoming area undiscovered by the majority of tourists. El Cabanyal also boasts some of the best restaurants in the city offering traditional Valencian cuisine by the sea. You can check out our top restaurant recommendations in another one of our articles linked below.
The weekend following Easter is known as the Pascua de San Vicente and the first Monday after Easter Monday is San Vicente Ferrer so two long weekends to look forward to, which basically means more siestas and less work! Indeed, the Spaniards do bank holidays and festivals very well!
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright 24/7 Valencia
Discover our restaurant recommendations in the Poblats Marítims district here: https://247valencia.com/spending-semana-santa-in-el-cabanyal-check-out-our-top-restaurant-recommendations-in-the-area/
Programme of Events:
31st March-9th April 2023
Friday 31st March:
Processions through the streets of Grao, Cabanyal and Canyamelar.
20:00h: The Procession of Our Lady of Sorrows Crowned from the Tribunal de las Aguas square.
23:00h: The Procession of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin from the parish of Christ the Redeemer- San Rafael.
23:30h: The Procession of the Prayers from the Tribunal de las Aguas square.
Thursday 6th April:
20:00h: Visit to the Holy Monuments from the Plaza del Tribunal de las Aguas to the Plaza de la Iglesia de los Ángeles.
Friday 7th April (Good Friday):
07:45h: The Christs are taken to the beach where a prayer will be said in memory of deceased sailors/ the biblical character will lay some flowers on the waves.
18:30h: General Procession of the Holy Burial.
The route will be as follows: Plaza de la Virgen de Vallivana, Pinto Ferrandis Street, Plaza de la Iglesia de los Ángeles, Pedro Maza Street, de la Reina Street, Plaza de la Semana Santa Marinera de València, Doctor J.J. Dómine Street, Avenida del Puerto, Cristo del Grao Street, Ernesto Anastasio, Francisco Cubells, del Rosario and Plaza de la Iglesia del Rosario.
Saturday 8th April:
Sunday 9th April (Easter Sunday):
Morning: Event organised by the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre in Plaza de la Cruz, where brotherhoods twist themselves around their banner and then untwist themselves to symbolise the end of the festival.
13:00h: Resurrection Parade.
The route will be as follows: Cabanyal Market, Mediterráneo street, Escalante, Pintor Ferrandis, Los Ángeles church square, Pedro Maza street, de la Reina street, Plaza de la Semana Santa Marinera de València, Doctor J.J. Dómine street, Avenida del Puerto, Cristo del Grao street, Ernesto Anastasio, Francisco Cubells, del Rosario and Rosario church square.
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’