Holy Week or Semana Santa is celebrated in every city, town and village in Spain and each place does so in its own special way. Many places indulge in rituals seen nowhere else, some more extreme than others such as “los picaos ” in San Vicente de Sonsierra that draws crowds of morbid onlookers every year.
In La Laguna in Tenerife on Good Friday you will find men who demonstrate their penance while masking their identity. These nazarenos are symbolic of penitent religious brotherhoods throughout Spain. They wear pointed hoods reminiscent of those worn by the Klu Klux Klan. It is said that the hoods are because they are too ashamed by the crucifixion to show their faces. These brothers are followed by barefoot monks in shackles and chains and dragging full sized rough-hewn wooden crucifixes. For anyone of a nervous disposition this night-time parade through the dimly lit narrow cobbled streets of the city could feel slightly uncomfortable if not exactly scary.
For those who want a spectacle that is both theatrical and inspiring at the same time whether you are religious or not, then travel south to the town of Adeje. The town enjoys a dominant hillside position, affording views to the distant mountains and the tourist resorts of the south coast. Nothing in the town hints of what will soon unfold. On every Good Friday Adeje hosts a peculiarly festival, an expression of faith, spirituality and culture as the townsfolk re-enact the story of Easter.
It is elaborate, passionate and deep-rooted. Devoutly and respectfully admired by thousands of people (last year according to statistics over 22,000 people attended) and unless you have seen it, it is hard to put into words. So share the images or better still visit the town at Easter and take away memories that will last forever. (Click on images to enlarge)
For daily weather updates in South Tenerife check out Queenie’s blog