Best time to go to Valencia

Semana Santa Marinera & Easter 2021

Valencia's close relationship with the sea has contributed to the unique celebration of the Holy Week

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Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates.

The city of Valencia celebrates Semana Santa mainly in its maritime neighborhood of El Cabanyal, under the protection of the sea. In its structure, the celebration is largely similar to other Christian places—three major festive days are Palm Sunday with Blessing of the Palms, Good Friday with the Holy Burial Procession, and Easter Sunday with the Ride of Resurrection. However, it's not the same as elsewhere—the Holy Week in Valencia is celebrated by people who have always made a living from fishing, and have great respect for the sea. That's why it's called Semana Santa Marinera.

Semana Santa Marinera

Early Morning Beach Procession

One of the highlights of the maritime festivities is the Early Morning Beach Procession held on Good Friday to commemorate those who died in the sea. The roots of the current celebration go back to the 15th century. Over 30 brotherhoods, fraternities, and different associations take part in the religious ceremonies that commonly parade religious statues through the streets, while people dressed-up as biblical characters and lots of believers are following.

Via Crucis & Holy Burial Processions

Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) takes place later on Good Friday. Holy Burial Procession is held at nightfall. This is the major highlight of Semana Santa Marinera. Before 1930 it was organized by each parish individually, but since then it has been held jointly.

Easter: The Meeting of Risen Christ and his Mother

Easter Sunday traditionally celebrates the Meeting of Risen Christ and his Mother—sorrowful at the beginning, these parades culminate with much joy, doves, and flower petals being released into the air. Later that day and also on Easter Monday families gather at the old riverbed for Easter treats which typically include sweet Easter cake (mona de Pascua) with boiled eggs.

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