Advertisement: opens in new window

Easter processions in Ibiza Town

  • Words and Pictures Claire B

Easter week (Holy Week or Semana Santa) began this year in Ibiza on April 9. It begins with Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), the Sunday before Easter Sunday, which commemorates the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, traditionally marked by the blessing of palms and a procession.

After that, there’s a procession on each day of the week from one of the main churches in Ibiza Town until Good Friday.

The biggest procession in Ibiza Town is in the evening on Good Friday, March 25, where all the church brotherhoods will parade their statues from the Cathedral, through Dalt Vila and then through the streets of the town. There are also processions in the other major towns on the island.

Semana Santa is a Christian religious holiday, celebrated from the last week of Lent up to Easter Sunday (the Pascua de Resurrección). Spain is well known for its Semana Santa processions and these also take place in Ibiza.

The processions are steeped in tradition and are a sombre celebration of Jesus Christ’s last few days (The Passion of Christ). Church brotherhoods (cofradías) carry large, ornately decorated, religious statues through the streets accompanied by bands featuring the thud of drums and the mournful wailing of trumpets.

Some of the statues are huge and can take up to 18 people to carry them. In each procession will be ‘nazarenos’, who wear a hood, tunic and belt in their cofradia’s special colours. Many wear ‘capirotes’ – tall, pointed hoods with eye-holes – designed so that the wearers could repent for their sins anonymously.

In the darkness and candlelight they look somewhat reminiscent of the outfits worn by the Ku Klux Klan (apparently early KKK members were influenced by what they saw during Semana Santa).

Traditionally, the nazarenos would often walk barefoot or have shackles and chains on their feet as penance, but these days and in Ibiza they’re more likely to carry crosses.

With mourners walking alongside the musicians, nazarenos and the bearers carrying the statues, the processions are a moving and interesting spectacle, and are worth experiencing if you want to immerse yourself in the culture of Spain and the island, whether you’re religious or not.

Processions in Ibiza Town:

  • Thursday April 13, 07:30: Procession of the Cofradía Santo Cristo de la Agonia for the Rosario de la Aurora with the effigy of the Virgen de la Esperanza from the Iglesia de Santa Cruz on Carrer Aragón to the Cathedral.
  • Thursday April 13, 20:00: Procession of the Cofradía Nuestro Padre Jesús Cautivo from the Iglesia de Santa Cruz to the Cathedral.
  • Good Friday April 14, 09:00: Via Crucis (the way of the cross) sees Jesus being carried on the cross from the Iglesia de Santa Cruz on Carrer Aragón to the Cathedral.
  • Good Friday April 14, 20.00: Procession of Santo Entierro (the holy burial) from the Cathedral, in which all of the cofradías take part. The procession goes through Dalt Vila, down through the Portal de Ses Taules and through the town.

More info about the processions and the schedules for mass at: http://www.obispadodeibiza.es

Advertisement - opens in new window