Ibiza may be synonymous with 24-hour partying and hedonistic living but during Easter in Ibiza (Semana Santa), the island adopts an air of solemnity and seriousness with throngs of people belonging to different ‘brotherhoods’ taking to the streets.
These sacred displays, which are held in almost every town on Ibiza, provide visitors with fascinating insight into the traditional, cultural and religious side of Easter in Ibiza, but, in typical Spanish style, are spiced up by the nation’s insatiable thirst to celebrate in style.
The biggest of these ‘brotherhood’ precessions are held in Santa Eulia and Ibiza Town, where literally thousands of people take to the streets to watch sacred statues being nobly marched around the town.
Because carrying these sanctified statues of saints and important religious figures is such a humbling privilege, the men who are given the honour, do so with anonymity, as a mark of respect, and wear high pointed hoods to cover their faces and identity.
In Santa Eulalia, Ibiza’s third largest town, the first of the Semana Santa processions takes place on Holy Thursday. This long, solemn yet captivating procession commences at the Chapel of Lourdes in Santa Eulalia’s town centre. On Good Friday the people of this popular Ibiza town take to the streets once more to watch another equally as moving procession slowly make its way through the streets.
Easter in Ibiza sees pageants of colourful flowers and crosses are sporadically displayed throughout the town centre, making for a welcoming resting point for many of the more elderly followers of the procession. In the afternoon of Good Friday a music concert takes place in the town hall square, which, in typically Spanish fashion, usually goes on well into the early hours of Easter Saturday.
The Easter celebrations in Santa Eulalia are concluded on Easter Sunday with yet another procession of ‘brotherhoods’, which takes its mesmerised throng of followers from the town hall, through the town’s many interesting streets, squares and alleyways, until it reaches the church, where the celebrations finally finish.
In Ibiza Town similar acts of worship take place by various ‘brotherhoods’. The main Easter in Ibiza procession in Ibiza Town is held on Good Friday when the streets of the Old Town are a mass of people eager to catch sight of this intensely poignant display of fervent Catholic worship.
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