Having a property at La Manga Club lets you experience celebrations that have been repeated for centuries, including Easter in Murcia. It has been declared to be of International Tourism interest for the length of time it has been celebrated, which dates back to the XV century, the unique style of its processions, and, above all, its magnificent artistic heritage. Holy Week in Murcia mixes art and religion unapologetically, and this fusion is a great tourism attraction that brings people all over the world to the region to experience intense days in which the brotherhoods put their most precious treasures on display.
Whether you’re looking forward to your next vacation at our leisure resort or you’re a habitual resident of your apartment at La Manga Club, Easter is the ideal moment to take advantage of all the activities offered by the region of Murcia, investigate its cultural identity, and lose yourself in the incredible ambiance in the streets. Today we present you with 5 unique aspects of Holy Week in Murcia that you can experience up close and that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Get ready for a feast of flavors, aromas, colors, and art!
The “Coloraos”, the brotherhood with the longest history
Murcia has 15 brotherhoods that take part in the Holy Week celebrations and exhibit their most precious religious art. The brotherhood of the “Coloraos” is one of the oldest in the region, with an origin that dates back to 1411. Its procession is on Ash Wednesday, and known as the Bloody Procession. It’s considered one of the most picturesque and traditional, and more than 3000 people participate in it, wearing short red tunics with bordered edges, creating a visual spectacle that is truly impressive. It begins at the Iglesia del Carmen and has eleven floats. It’s also notable for the large number of children that walk at the head of the procession as well as for its distribution of candy, gifts, beans, and other food items to the public.
The floats of Salzillo, the most artistic procession
Throughout Holy Week in Murcia you can enjoy processions with different themes: colorful ones, those filled with music and the smell of flowers, some that are more serious and focused, those that distribute candy or don’t, and each directed by a different brotherhood. The procession most known for its art is Los pasos de Salzillo. On the morning of Good Friday, artistic and religious sculptures, true works of art created by 18th Century Murcian sculptor Francisco Salzillo Alcaraz, are carried through the streets.
This procession, also known as “The Morning of Salzillo,” is organized by the brotherhood of Jesus and dates back to 1600. It is the only procession to be declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) in the Region of Murcia. This recognition is justified by the artistic level of the sculptural work and also by other intangible assets of the procession.
Get ready to see a parade of four thousand Nazarenes walking through the streets of Murcia clad in purple tunics and in many cases barefoot too. A magical experience worth experiencing during your Easter holidays at La Manga Club and well worth the small sacrifice of getting up early to see the first rays of sun pass over the Church of Our Father Jesus.
The generosity of the Nazarenes
Easter is also synonymous with gastronomy and there is no better way to discover it than by attending the processions. In fact, Murcian generosity is on display in almost all of them, apart from the processions of Silence and Easter Tuesday, and it harks back to the times when the members of the brotherhoods, atoning for their sins, distributed food to the neediest people as a symbolic penitential offering. As part of the procession we see the passage of the Nazarenes, dressed in their typical tunics of different colors, complete with a large belly as part of the garb. The belly is actually a sack tied around the waist and filled with candy, buns, boiled eggs, chocolate figures, fresh beans and small sandwiches to distribute among the spectators. Among the variety of gifts there are also holy cards, medals, and coats of arms of the brotherhood. So, don’t forget to bring along a bag for your treasures!
The unique clothing of the guilds
Clothing is another illustration of Murcia’s Holy Week style, combining traditional elements of the celebration with items typical of the area. The clothing of the “estantes”, those who carry the floats on their shoulders, are quite impressive. Their faces are uncovered, like the stewards, and they wear a short, rounded hood with decorative ribbons on both sides and a fabric piece that falls down the back decorated with a flower or rosette. On their feet they wear “esparteñas huertanas”, espadrilles made of esparto grass tied with crossed ribbons, and on their legs they wear white socks, in many cases hand-embroidered by a family member.
Neo-Baroque inspired floats
All of Murcia’s Holy Week images are carried in procession on neo-Baroque-inspired floats, carved in gilded wood and borne on the shoulders of the Nazarenes. The way in which they are carried is unique to Murcia’s processional style and different from that of any other place in Spain: a peculiar, out of sync walk, but one that is measured and steady. The effect it lends is that the icons are floating. Those responsible for the processions are the stewards or “mayordomos”, who mark the places of the float carriers, as well as the rhythm and the stops of the procession. No detail of these Holy Week processions is left to chance.
Beyond the processions, you can also visit the cathedral, contemplate the views from the sanctuary, and enjoy a beautiful sunset from the mountain. And don’t forget to stay for the entertaining Murcian evening and the wonderful tapas that follow. At La Manga Club resort you can enjoy all the comforts of a luxury destination, feel at home, and recharge your batteries while making the most of your Easter in Murcia. Sounds like a plan!