Semana Santa – Easter on Majorca
Finding the Easter bunny on the island is slightly more difficult than in other countries. In spite of the fact that the supermarkets are bursting with chocolate eggs and bunnies, this tradition is still considered to be imported.
The Easter processions in Spain are renowned for their impressiveness. The largest and most important procession of “Semana Santa” (Easter Week), the Processó del Sant Crist de la Sang, takes place in the capital Palma de Majorca on Holy Thursday with the participation of 50 brotherhoods, the right of membership to which is passed down from father to son, something of which they are extremely proud.
The traditional attire, consisting of robes and with pointed hoods in the colour of the brotherhood hence preserving the anonymous status of the penitents, the drumbeat, the rattling of the chains and the moaning of the women confers this rather singular event with a somewhat mystic ambience. The procession starts in the late afternoon and lasts into the early hours of the morning. The days following Easter Thursday are packed with a programme of religious events. On Good Friday there are a lot of other processions throughout the entire island and Holy Sunday is, of course, famous for its masses. Easter Monday is a family day on which villagers dine in traditional restaurants or go on picnics.
The “Romerías” or pilgrimages are typical of this time of the year and take place on Tuesday with the participation of the entire village. Finally, on the Easter Sunday there is a large fair at Bellver Castle in Palma. Well worth a mention is the typical food made at Easter; Empanades pies filled with meat, fish and vegetables, pine nuts and raisins, Rubiols filled with jam or curd cheese, Crespells, a kind of biscuit, to name but a few. The only thing that is vaguely reminiscent of other European traditions are the chocolate figures, called Mona de Pascua, which according to a Catalan custom are traditionally given by godparents to their godchildren.