EASTER (HOLY WEEK)
Spain is a country rich of culture and with a broad variety of holidays and traditions, mostly of religious origin. Although christian holidays are known in almost every part of the world and are celebrated also especially in other European nations, the Spanish people have put a great effort in maintaining their local customs which accompany these holidays.
One of the most oustanding of these holidays is Easter Week, in which the people commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth with an abundance of liturgiucal activities. The most important days of this festivity are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, which are celebrated with masses and many processions.
At Spanish School Taronja we want you to learn about the characteristics of our culture. In Valencia, for example, the Holy Week is known as the Semana Santa Marinera (Holy Week of the Seamen) . This name has its origins on the one hand in the strong relation to the sea, which the city has always had in terms of history and culture. On the other hand, the first people to commemorate this festivity with public manifestations of popular faith were indeed fisherman and sailors of the surrounding villages in the 15th century.
Today, these villages are known as the maritime suburbs of Valencia and are called El Grao, El Cabanyal and El Cañamelar. Still, the majority of the acts which take place between Good Friday and Easter Sunday are celebrated in these suburbs.
The Semana Santa Marinera is a good occasion to spend your time at the beach and to enjoy the best days of sun whilst contemplating our Easter traditions. Not all of our customs, nevertheless, are of religious character. We also like to just have a good time and enjoy a good company.
During these days the Valentian families come together and have a good time eating the particular food of this holiday: the mona de pascua (sweet bread) and the longaniza (sausage). It’s a custom that the aunts and uncles give the mona de pascua as a present to their nieces and nephews, but not only the children get a taste of this delicacy, everyone can have a bite! Besides, it’s very tasty! Although it’s a typical product of the Easter holidays, the longaniza is eaten throughout the rest of the year as well. The specialty of these days, nevertheless is, that you can it both of these foods in a different way; by putting the longaniza in a salty mona de pascua.
When our stomachs are finally full, the best thing to do is to take a rest and make the most out of the afternoon sun to fly a kite, or as it’s known here, a cachirulo. Children as well as adults enjoy these moments, watching the kite fight against the winds, which they themselves fabricated the days before the Holy Week. Not everybody makes their own kites, there is always one cheater who prefers to buy his one. But bought or not, it’s a lot of fun nevertheless!
If you want to enjoy the nice climate and the good food in Valencia, don’t hesitate and come here to take a Spanish course and spend Easter with us , it’s gonna be a lot of fun!
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