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The Holy Week in Madrid

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Many of the students that come to take our Spanish courses in Madrid during Easter do not know that they will find one of the most deeprooted and traditional festivities in Spain. The Holy Week (Semana Santa) is a religious celebration, but not just that. It is a whole week full of special activities, processions, a specific gastronomy, and a special environment, that most people truly love. In our Spanish school in Madrid, we adapt our schedule and cultural activities to this extraordinary celebration, but if you cannot wait to come and enjoy it with us, let us explain to you what the Holy Week in Madrid is about.

What is the Holy Week in Madrid?

The Holy Week commemorates the last days of Jesus Christ. It starts on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), and ends in Easter Sunday (Domingo de Resurrección). Each day commemorates different events from the New Testament. The most well-known expression of this are processions, which are a public ritual march of clergy and penitents, carrying images aloft. Normally, acts of mortification are carried out and traditional hymns and chants are sung. In many penitential orders, the faces of the penitents are covered by elaborate hoods, such as the capirote.

If you spend the Holy Week in Madrid you will be able to visit different famous processions, such as el Cristo de Medinaceli, Jesús de los Alabarderos, Jesús Nazareno ‘el pobre’ and la procesión del silencio. Whether you are a religious person or not, it is truly touching to feel the emotion and passion of believers during the processions.

Is it just a religious celebration?

Absolutely not. Although it has religious roots, the Holy Week in Madrid is much more than processions and masses. Take, for example, the gastronomy. During this week you will be able to try a torrija, a slice of bread soaked in cinnamon milk and fried in olive oil that is a truly exclusive sweet treat: it can be found only during this festivity.

Another great feature of the Holy Week in Madrid is that, due to the holidays in schools and offices, there are many more leisure activities around. Special art expositions are held for the occasion, as well as theatre plays and visits. The Holy Week is a perfect opportunity to visit and discover Madrid.

In our Spanish school in Madrid, we are perfectly aware of the learning opportunities that the Holy Week in Madrid brings to our students, and so we have prepared a whole bunch of activities that will make our students improve their Spanish and discover one of the most exciting traditions in Spain. Are you going to miss it?

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