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Semana Santa – Spain’s Greatest Fiesta

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Semana Santa (Holy Week) will take place from March 20-27 2016, in Seville and other cities in Spain.

The streets will be filled with thousands of medieval robed and hooded figures, processing slowly behind swaying life-sized religious effigies, accompanied by the deep thud of drums and mournful wailing of trumpets.

It might sound sinister, but Semana Santa is an extraordinary, mesmerising experience and constitutes one of Spain’s largest festivals. Each day, between six and nine cofradias go out in procession, with the first starting at midday.

The long line of hooded nazarenos, statues, and musicians slowly moves out of its parish church, led by a cross. Outfits are designed so that those repenting for their sins can conceal their identity.

As the wistful, flower-bedecked Virgin, resplendent in her gold-embroidered mantle emerges, people shout “Guapa!” (Beautiful!) – it’s a moment charged with great emotion.

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