Art & Culture

Easter Holidays in Barcelona

If you have the opportunity to spend your Easter holidays in Barcelona, you will never forget it. Spain as a catholic country lives intensely the death and resurrection of Christ and the end of Lent during the “Semana Santa” or Holy Week in a literal translation. And all Spain celebrates this tradition by regions in a particular way, thus Catholics and not Catholics will enjoy this week of festivities in Barcelona!

Processions in Barcelona

The Semana Santa is from the 1st to the 8th of April 2012 in all Spain, and till Monday 9th in Catalonia; Friday 6th and Monday 9th being bank holidays in Barcelona.

And easter holidays in Barcelona start on the Palm Sunday with the procession around the cathedral, gothic church from the XIII century. This day is characterized by the benediction of the palms and for this special day, the faithful buy the palms on Las Ramblas to wear them sculpted and to bring good luck for the family houses the rest of the year.

On the Thursday of easter holidays in Barcelona faithful use to visit seven different churches in Barcelona.

On the Holy Friday, “viernes santo”, there are two main processions: “Nuestra Señora de las Angustias” and “Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder and María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena”.

The Nuestra Señora de las Angustias (our Lady of Sorrows) begins at 7.00 p.m. from Sant Jaume church in the Gothic Quarters, the historical Barrio Gótico. The procession follows this itinerary: Carrer Ferrán, Plaça Sant Jaime, Carrer Bisbe, Avda. de la Catedral, Carrer Boters, Carrer del Pi, Plaça del Pi, Carrer Cardenal Casañas, Plaça de la Boquería, Ramblas, Carrer Ferrán and come back to Sant Jaume church around 11.30 p.m.

The other procession, Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder y María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena (Our Father Jesus of the Great Power and Holy Virgin of Macarena) starts from Sant Agusti church presents the following itinerary: Plaça Sant Agustí, Carrer Hospital, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla del Estudis, Carrer Santa Anna, Avda. de la Catedral, Portal de l’Àngel, Carrer Dels Arcs, Carrer Boters, Carrer del Pi, Carrer d’En Roca, La Rambla, Carrer Hospital. From Barrio Gótico to El Raval district, well know cosmopolitan, intercultural and artistic area of Barcelona.

PestiñosEach procession is composed of two floats: one for the Holy Mary and one for the Christ, they proceed slowly to let you the chance to observe the images and decoration of each float. The “Costaleros” are people who carry the floats on their shoulders and they are synchronized with the music and the drumbeats, it is really worth to be seen! The traditional song of the Holy Week is the “Saeta”, it is a religious song often sung a cappella, quite an emotive song with flamenco tones and Arabic roots.

Then it is highly recommendable for visitors to follow the steps of the processions during easter holidays in Barcelona for several reasons; to get to know the typical Spanish tradition and at the same time make an interesting route thought the historical part of the city.


Catalonia has plenty of typical dishes to offer while spending easter holidays in Barcelona. As on the holy friday it is forbidden for Christians to eat meat they use to consume this day cod and soaps. And the sweets desserts are also important for Spanish gastronomy in eastern season.

  • Mona de Pascua: it was traditionally a cake in form of crown contained the same number of decorative painted eggs than the age of the child it was given to. Nowadays the eggs are of chocolate but the Mona remains as a tradition. The Mona de Pascua is offered to the godchildren by the godfathers during Palm Sunday.
  • Buñuelos: they are a kind of fried doughnuts which can be accompanied of chocolate.
  • Torrijas: that are pieces of bread soaked in milk and fried in butter with honey or sugar.
  • Pestiños: typical also in Christmas, pastry prepared with sweet dough fried in oil and bathed in honey.

Accommodation during Easter Holidays in Barcelona

We recommend you to book an apartment in Barrio Gótico for an unforgettable stay in Barcelona, enjoying the processions and gothic churches on foot distance.

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