Easter in Seville, don’t miss it!

By Carlota Nelson | 10:30

Easter in Seville is something everyone should attend at least once in his or her lifetime. You won’t see anything like it anywhere else in the world. And no, you don´t have to be catholic or religious to enjoy the stunning spectacle of devotion, art, colour and music held every day from the 13th until the 20th April.

Seville has been celebrating Easter week (Holy Week) since the 14th century and is considered one of the most important events of this kind in Spain. People from all over the world join the locals in the 60 plus processions, belonging to the 55 brotherhoods, that carry the 115 pasos (floats) along the narrow and winding streets of Seville.

Every local has their favourite procession and choses to attend either because they´re members of a certain church or a family member is part of a procession. Some just prefer to attend their neighbourhood church or go to another part of town because of the music that goes along with the paso. It´s impossible to see them all so make sure you prepare a route, get to know the streets beforehand to help you navigate to the best spots and leave with enough time to arrive. Even so, arm yourself with patience as there could be up to a million people participating on any given day, either as participants or observers.

If this is your first time and don´t feel like getting overwhelmed or claustrophobic, try Plaza del Triunfo, between the Cathedral and the Alcázar palace. This is a great spot to be at because the floats come thru this large square on their way into the Cathedral. Another good spot is right beneath or close to the Triana Bridge. The brotherhoods in this neighbourhood have used it for centuries and during the Madrugá, the lights go off and the thousand-lit candles illuminate the sky.  If you don´t want to stay up late, check the madrugá route and catch them on their way back to the temples in the morning.

Before you go, here are some important vocabulary you should be familiar with and tips to keep in mind:

Pasos are the processions or floats. They march all week and are conducted by hermandades (brotherhoods) or cofrades. Up to 25 men, called costaleros, are in charge of carrying the pasos throughout the city for up to 14 hours at a time. The nazarenos are the ones who accompany the pasos dressed in funky hats and tunics. There can be up to 2,000 nazarenos per paso, depending on the size and importance of the brotherhood.

Apart from the famous fried shrimp, calamari and wine, while in Seville, try the delicious Easter torrijas, a Spanish version of French toast made with honey, eggs and white wine.

Remember to be respectful. Keep in mind that some nazarenos walk barefoot, locals dress up in their Sunday best and some pasos are meant to be viewed in silence. People camp out on the streets for days to get a good view so plan ahead, bring water, snacks, a hat and some sunscreen for processions during the day.

For more information, vocabulary, routes and advice, please check this site. In English.

Do you prefer to have all the necessary information on you Smart phone? Download this app. Spanish, English, German and Japanese available. 

Make sure you book ahead. All 4 NH hotels in Seville have been awarded with the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. The NH Viapol hotel in Seville is close to the city’s historic district and only a ten-minute walk from Plaza España Square and 15 minutes from the Santa Cruz district. Another option to get around Seville is to use a bicycle, which can be hired at the hotel lobby. 

Photo Credits: Juan Carlos Guijarro

Photo Credits: Jesus León



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