Throughout seven days, Andalucia is surrounded by a spiritual halo. Semana Santa is a tradition which is repeated year after year; a time when the devout and curious jointogether to participare in the procession and converge on the streets and squares which take on the ambience and mystique of an open air temple.Is worthwhile hiring a car at Malaga airport or Malaga city to discover the region.
The skill and expertise by the parades rest with the religous fraternities and “hermandades” (brotherhoods). They have the huge responsibility of maintaining the statues as well as manage the penitents and music bands. Sometimes up to two thousand members of a “hermandad” take part, some carry candles, rods or banners depending on their level of seniority. The most senior is the president who carries a golden rod.
The “costaleros” who carry the weight of the floats and their sculptured representations of the biblical scene are directed by the overseer or head of the group who ensure that the float is carried with maxium seriousness, grace and tradition. To be able to survive the long hours and distance carrying the heavy “thrones” the costaleros have a cushion, known as the costal, wich prevents the direct contact of the wood rubbing against the skin. The thrones are followed by “nazarenos” dressed in tunics, hoods and masks and women dressed in traditional costume (dolorosas).
The high point of the procession is when the float exits and enters the respective church. This is the moment when art and religion seem merged into one. A sculpture of images created by superb craftsmen. The beast floats date back to the 16th and 17th centuries and can still be seen today.