Semana Santa in Almería

22/03/2024

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a significant religious observance in Spain that commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It takes place during the week leading up to Easter Sunday and is celebrated with elaborate processions, religious services, and traditional rituals.

Holy Week in Almería is an unmissable festival for travelers in the province. In Almería, Semana Santa is observed with great solemnity and devotion, with religious brotherhoods, known as cofradías, organizing processions through the streets of the city. These processions typically feature elaborately decorated floats, or pasos, depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ, accompanied by participants dressed in traditional robes and hoods. 

The processions are considered among the most beautiful in Andalusia and occur from Passion Saturday to Easter Sunday, with 22 Brotherhoods and 2 pre-Brotherhoods parading through the city's streets over 8 days.

A procession typically includes Nazarenes or penitents, along with steps representing various themes. It may also feature authorities, acolytes, and music bands. Led by the cross bearer, followed by banner bearers depicting biblical passages, then the Nazarenes, and finally, the music band if present.

Penitents, members of the Brotherhood, wear long tunics and hoods representing humility and anonymity. Their tunics match the colors of their Brotherhood. They usually walk in pairs, carrying candles to illuminate the passage.  

Semana Santa is a time for reflection, prayer, and community bonding as people come together to honor their religious beliefs and traditions.

In addition to the religious aspect, Semana Santa in Almería also includes cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions, making it a vibrant and festive time to experience the local culture and traditions of the region.


Gastronomy of Semana Santa

Papaviejos

 A simple sweet, very delicious and with cheap ingredients, typical of Almería during Lent time.

- It is interesting to add that this sweet is also traditional in Venezuela:

Papaviejos is a traditional dish from Venezuela, particularly popular during the Christmas season. It consists of deep-fried dough balls made from a batter of flour, eggs, milk, and sugar. Sometimes, ingredients like anise or rum are added to enhance the flavor. Once fried, papaviejos are typically sprinkled with powdered sugar and served warm.


Pestiños

Pestiños are are small, diamond-shaped pastries made from a dough that's flavored with anise and sesame seeds. After being fried, they are coated in honey or sugar syrup, giving them a sweet and slightly sticky texture


Roscos de Semana Santa 

It is a ring-shaped sweet bread, similar to a dense, slightly sweetened bread roll. The dough typically contains flour, eggs, sugar, milk, and sometimes aniseed or citrus zest for flavoring. Once baked, it is often glazed with a sugar syrup or sprinkled with powdered sugar.


Tortitas de Bacalao

They are essentially codfish fritters made by mixing shredded codfish with a batter of flour, eggs, garlic, parsley, and sometimes onion or other seasonings. The mixture is then formed into small patties or balls and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy. These fritters are often served as tapas or appetizers.


Potaje de Semana Santa Almeriense 

It is a hearty and flavorful stew typically made with chickpeas, spinach, bacalao (salted codfish), potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and other vegetables. The dish is seasoned with garlic, paprika, and sometimes cumin, giving it a rich and aromatic flavor.

Potaje de Semana Santa Almeriense is often served as a main course during the Lenten season, particularly on Good Friday, when meat is traditionally avoided. It is a comforting and nutritious dish that reflects the culinary traditions of the region.


Ensalada de pimientos asados con bacalao y olivas negras 

It consists of roasted red bell peppers, salted codfish (bacalao), and black olives, typically dressed with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and parsley. The combination of flavors creates a refreshing and savory salad that is perfect for the Lenten season when meat is often avoided. This dish showcases the simplicity and freshness of ingredients commonly found in Mediterranean cuisine. 


Other typical meals 

HABAS FRITAS CON BACALAO 

BACALAO CON TOMATE

Bacalao is the Spanish word for codfish, a type of fish that is widely consumed in many cuisines around the world. It is known for its mild flavor and firm texture, making it versatile for various cooking methods such as grilling, frying, baking, and boiling. Bacalao is often used in traditional dishes in Spanish, Portuguese, and other Mediterranean cuisines, and it is particularly popular during religious holidays like Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Spain.


This year you can observe the processions and experience the atmosphere during March 23 - March 31, 2024

The oficial program of processions HERE.