On the Friday of Semana Santa (Holy Week) we attended a very solemn procession near the beach in Playa de la Malvarrosa.
Everyone in the parade wore biblical costumes representing the main characters around the crucifixion or they wore robes in the colors and affiliation of their church. The music they walked to was somber, participants were grave and the message received by those of us watching was clearly one of mourning.
Each church had a group of parishioners costumed in floor length robes and tall pointed hats that completely covered their faces except for cutouts for the eyes. These costumes were meant to communicate that those who wore them were atoning for some sin and were ashamed to show their face.
Although we did not attend the Sunday procession, we learned that on Easter Sunday the very same procession was re-enacted. This time however it was triumphal and celebratory with smiles, rejoiceful music and the pointed hats had been removed to indicate forgiveness.
On Easter Sunday we explored a beautiful church, the Cathedral of Valencia. Headsets with recorded information were provided as part of the entrance price allowing us to learn the history and significance of this church to the City of Valencia. Follow this link to see our pictures of the Cathedral of Valencia.
Easter celebrations for children are not the same as those celebrated in North America; no Easter egg hunts. We did however find a few cute bunny displays. We also discovered two traditional baked items found in the many tempting bakeries. One is the ‘Mona de Pascua’, referred to as a cake, but really is a sweet bread most commonly made into figure eight shapes. They are also made in shapes of animals with colored sprinkles on top. Once the shapes are baked and cooled a chocolate egg is inserted into the baked shape. Every child receives one on Easter Sunday. The second delicious baked goodie we found was a sweet round loaf made with raisins and nuts with sugar sprinkled on top. The flavor reminded us of hot cross buns.
— Ted & Julia
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