Holy Week in Sevilla

Holy Week in Sevilla
Semana Santa en Cabra. Rafa Luna. BY CC 2.0.jpg
Song of the Andalusian people,
who every spring
cry for ladders
to climb the cross!
La Saeta. Antonio Machado

Compared with sober Castilian devotion and silent processions, the people of Seville surprise visitors—as they surprised the poet—with their sacred songs and overwhelming fervor, completely taking over the city during Holy Week.

The floats of the processions, authentic sculptural and artisan gems, are worth visiting all year round, as are the city and its churches: every neighborhood has a cofradía (brotherhood), and each cofradía has a devotion whose traditions and secrets are passed down from parents to children, who will eventually act as penitents in the religious brotherhoods.

Indubitably, the city shines brightest during the religious celebrations and, in particular, during the processions, when rows of hooded people who accompany the images, carried by costelaros (men who carry the floats), proceed through the streets filled with decorated balconies, from which people sing sacred songs, an oration which, in Andalusia, has the flavor of flamenco.