This Holy Week,  'Choose Galicia, you've got to live it' too

Two Galician towns hold Holy Week celebrations which have been recognized as International Tourist Attractions: Holy Week in Viveiro and Holy Week in Ferrol. You can also choose from 7 Galician Tourist Attractions: Festival of Holy Christ in Fisterra, Holy Week in Cangas, Holy Week in Paradela (Meis), Holy Week in Betanzos, Holy Week in Mondoñedo, Holy Week in Santiago de Compostela, and Holy Week in Lugo.

Rest and relax, enjoy the local traditions, savour a fine meal, lose yourself in the natural spaces and feel as welcome as in your own home. Take part in one of the celebrations recognized as tourist attractions and discover our wide variety of accommodation options.

Holy Week in Viveiro

Numerous floats, some articulated and boasting great artistic value, are the highlight of the solemn Holy Week processions in Viveiro. The local confraternities and brotherhoods fill the town's streets with an intimate religious atmosphere. Eucharists, Stations of the Cross, drumming and more ... all leading up to the major holy days. The most fascinating celebrations begin on Maundy Thursday with two processions, the Last Supper and the Prendimiento (Arrest of Jesus). The float for the first was created in 1808 by an artisan who used sailors from the port in neighbouring San Cibrao as models for the figures of the Apostles. The second is organized by the Brotherhood of the Prendimiento, whose members are easy to spot in their red and white tunics and hoods. The procession of the Encuentro (Meeting) is held on the morning of Good Friday. This is another moving ceremony, which includes Christ falling, as well as figures of Our Lady of Sorrows, St. John and Veronica. It is followed with great interest by crowds from both balconies and streets. In the afternoon, the Desenclavo (Descent from the Cross) is followed by the procession of the Santo Entierro (Holy Burial), the most magnificent of all. The float is carried by people dressed in black ankle-length tunics and a large hood with a mask.

Holy Week in Ferrol

From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, there is a non-stop series of processions commemorating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. The streets of Ferrol fill with religious fervour and crowds surround the floats of its five confraternities, heirs to a centuries-old tradition and a deeply felt popular spirit which has held up to social and generational changes. The processions are striking, crowded, moving and solemn. The most noteworthy are those held on Good Friday: The Santo Encuentro (Holy Meeting) takes place in the morning in Amboage Square. In the afternoon there is the procession of the Santo Entierro (Holy Burial), which has a strong liturgical element. It features the Santa Urna, a glass coffin with the figure of Jesus inside, a key part of Ferrol's Holy Week celebrations. In the evening is the eerie Caladiños procession through the streets of the historic La Magdalena neighbourhood, with floats of St. John, Cruz Sudario (Cross of the Shroud) and Our Lady of Sorrows. It ends in the early morning, following the traditional singing of the hymn to the Virgin Mary.

Festival of the Holy Christ in Fisterra

The Festival of the Holy Christ in Fisterra is held during Holy Week, with re-enactments of the Passion of Christ by a group of town locals, followed by thousands of parishioners, in the area around Santa María das Areas Church, on the road up to the lighthouse. The most important of these takes place on Easter Sunday. It is an allegorical religious play which depicts the moment in front of the tomb of Christ guarded by Roman soldiers when an angel brings the women the news of the resurrection of Jesus. Amidst the expressions of joy and happiness, and the hallelujahs that erupt from the thousands in attendance, bells ring, bands play, rockets are launched and doves are released. This culminates in the 'Dance of Our Lady of Areas', whose origins date to the 17th century.

Holy Week in Cangas

The most solemn manifestation of religious feeling around the Passion of Christ held in the province of Pontevedra are the Holy Week processions in Cangas. They feature floats of considerable historical and artistic value, as well as articulated images, including the Nazarene in the procession of the Santo Encuentro (Holy Encounter) and Christ in the ceremony of the Descent from the Cross, lending the events a moving realism. The religious celebrations begin on the Friday of Sorrows, with the festival of Our Most Holy Lady of Sorrows (local festival). The Maundy Thursday procession is extremely striking. It features the Paso de la Mesa, a float depicting the Last Supper using natural products, the floats of the Prayer in the Garden and the Flagellation, a lovely artistic group, followed with great pomp by the closing float of the procession, the Lady of Sorrows. The morning of Good Friday begins with the procession of the Denial of St. Peter, notable for its popularity among young people, who carry the image of St. Peter around the J. Félix Soage Villarino Gardens. Afterwards, they celebrate with drinking chocolate. At midday, the centre of town fills with people attending the procession of the Santo Encuentro (Holy Meeting). As the historic passage recounting the climb up Mount Calvary unfolds, the images of the main characters appear: St. John, St. Veronica, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Clopas, Mary Salome and Our Lady of Sorrows. The Nazarene, accompanied by the Simon of Cyrene and Roman soldiers, falls three times. This is made possible by an articulation system.

Holy Week in Paradela

The re-enactment of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ which takes place in the small Santa María Parish Church in Paradela (Meis, Pontevedra) is a pleasant surprise, due to the painstakingly care taken with the staging, costume design and settings where the events take place. The quality of the actors' performances is able to convey the profound feeling of the Christian faith to the audience. Through an initiative of the Confraternity of Semana Santa y Pascua, created in 1993, all of the milestones that mark the hours prior to the death of Jesus Christ and his subsequent resurrection are carefully depicted. The audience takes an active part, helping make the scenes even more realistic. The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem astride a donkey on Palm Sunday, with the blessing of the palms and the procession from Campo de Outeiro to the parish church, is the first in a series of re-enactments. Alternating with the traditional liturgical acts for these days, they continue on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. On Thursday night, following the liturgy, there is a re-enactment of the Last Supper, the washing of the feet, the arrest of Jesus and his judgement before Caiaphas. On Friday morning, residents and visitors gather in front of the atrium of the parish church to witness the re-enactment of the judgement of Jesus before Pontius Pilate and Herod, and the flagellation. This is followed by a realistic and moving Way of the Cross up to Mount Croa, where the crucifixion is staged.

Holy Week in Betanzos

Betanzos’ Holy Week celebrations begin on the Friday before Palm Sunday with a mass in honour of Our Lady of Sorrows. Music lies at the heart of the events, which last from then until Holy Tuesday, and the highlight is undoubtedly the town’s famous Religious Music season. On the afternoon of Palm Sunday, the palm branches are blessed and the figure of La Borriquita – the Little Donkey – is taken in procession around the town, accompanied by large numbers of local people carrying palm branches and leaves.

Holy Week in Mondoñedo

Holy Week traditions in Mondoñedo are steeped in history, dating back to before the 16th century, and are an example of simplicity and solemnity that reflect the deep sense of faith among the people that inhabit this area of Galicia. Holy Week in Mondoñedo is the epitome of sobriety and inner contemplation. The mass and procession held on Palm Sunday, the many other processions including the Ecce Homo, Arrest of Jesus, Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Encounter, the Holy Burial or Solitude procession are the outward manifestations of a Holy Week that boasts many centuries of history.

Holy Week in Santiago de Compostela

For UNESCO, Santiago de Compostela is "an ideal city brimming with both history and timelessness". In 1985, it was declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its urban beauty and monumental integrity in addition to the deep echoes of its spiritual significance as a sanctuary and destination of Christianity?s greatest pilgrimage between the eleventh and eighteenth centuries: the Camino de Santiago.

Holy Week in Lugo

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