|Barcelona Easter 2016 - Semana Santa Holy Week|
|Written by festivals|
Semana Santa Barcelona Easter 2016
Barcelona Easter 2016 and Easter weekend. Things to do in Barcelona for Easter weekend 2016. What to do and where to find Easter parades and Good Friday processions in Barcelona. Easter week in Spain is called “Semana Santa” which means "Holy Week." Easter weekend is at the start of the Easter week in Spain. TWEET THIS PAGE
The 2016 Barcelona Easter weather will be mostly dry, warm and party sunny, so perfect for sightseeing and enjoying the city.
Spain's Easter week begins on Palm Sunday called "Diumenge de Rams" in Catalan" and "Domingo de Ramos" in Spanish. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter week.
Dates Easter 2016 Barcelona. Easter is a moveable feast. In 2016 Easter starts on Palm Sunday on Sunday 20th March 2016. There are parades and processions in Barcelona on Palm Sunday. Most Easter parades are on Good Friday - called "Divendres Sant" in Catalan and "Viernes Santo" in Spanish.
Good Friday 2016 is on Friday 25th March 2016 and Easter Sunday is 27th March 2016.
Easter 2016 ends on Easter Monday "Lunes de Pascua" on Monday 28th March 2016 and is also called "Diá de la mona de Pascua," which means Easter "mona" cake day.
Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays in Spain, so most shops in Barcelona are closed, but restuarants and museums are open. Scroll down this page to read about Barcelona Easter week and Easter processions and traditions.
Pictures Easter Barcelona
Pictures Easter Hospitalet near Barcelona
Things to do at Easter in Barcelona
Barcelona is a very popular destination at Easter. This can mean longer queues at Barcelona's top attractions. Find thetop 10 Barcelona sights and save time and long queues by pre-booking Barcelona tours and discounts cards online. For families with children spending Easter in Barcelona, popular attractions include Barcelona Zoo in Park Ciutadella, theTibidabo funfair and amusement park on Tibidabo hill, the Magic Fountain at the foot of Montjuic hill, theBarcelona Aquarium, the Poble Espanyol Spanish Village on Montjuic hill which premieres a new Barcelona Flower and Garden Festival with lots of special activities for children. Most Barcelona attractions have have special Easter programmes with activities for children and families. Outside Barcelona 1 hour to the south by train there is a big theme park called PortAventura. Find more things to do for families with children in Barcelona on our page Barcelona children attractions and on ourBarcelona museums page.
Shopping in Barcelona at Easter
Will the shops be open during Easter in Barcelona? No. Shops are not open in Barcelona on the public holidays of Good Friday and Easter Monday. Most shops close for Easter in Barcelona. In the city centre many small tourist souvenir shops are open and some small boutique clothing shops will be open too, but the big shopping centres and high-street brand shops are closed. Restaurants and bars are open during Easter. The only shopping centre partially open during Easter holidays is the Maremagnum in the port area. More aboutshopping in Barcelona
Easter festivals Barcelona
Barcelona is a modern, cosmopolitan city and it has to be said, that Barcelona Easter celebrations are not of the magnitude and splendour of some other Spanish cities in the south of Spain, like Sevilla. Many local Barcelona residents leave the city for the Easter break by car. This mass exodus is called “Operacion Salida” which means "operation exit." The Easter "operation exit" is one of the biggest of the year in Spain and Barcelona and more than half a million cars usually leave Barcelona for the Semana Santa break.
But you can find a couple of traditional Easter processions in the centre of Barceona on Palm Sunday and Good Friday - and some processions in the suburbs of Barcelona. There are Easter festivals and procession in towns and village near Barcelona. We can recommend Easter festivals in citiesGirona orTarragona, which are both 1 hour by car or train from Barcelona.
Easter processions Barcelona
Easter processions in Spain are organised by the "Hermandades y Cofradías de Penitencia" which are religious brotherhoods of lay people, both male and female. They have the blessing of the church to organise processions. The Pentitencia brotherhoods only parade at Easter, whereas the "Hermandades de gloria" parade at other times of the year, but not Easter. In Barcelona city centre there are two "Hermandades de Penitencia" who organise Easter processions. One is the "Nuestra Señora de las Angustias" from the church "Iglesia de Sant Jaume" - and the other is "la Hermandad de la Macarena y la de Jesús del Gran Poder" from the Iglesia de San Agustín.
The Easter processions are called an "estación de penitencia." The procession starts from their home parish church and goes to the Barcelona cathedral and back. Sometimes the processions are also called "pasos" because the beautifully decorated and adorned Easter floats themselves are also called "pasos" and a "Hermandad de Penitencia" can organise various processions, but with different paso floats.
The paso floats have large wooden effigies of Christ either carrying the cross or on the cross. The sculptures can also be the Virgin Mary, or other saints or biblical figures or scenes. The Pasos are carried by 30-50 porters called "costaleros," who carry the paso like a litter. The floats are very heavy and so breaks have to be taken after a few minutes. The leader of the bearers are the "capataz" who determine the "chicotá," which is the pause between a paso being lifted and set down again. The floats are carried along the procession route to the cathedral for the station of penitance at the Cathedral and then they return to their parish church.
The signal to lift or set down the paso is given by the "llamador" (crier) who knocks on the front of the float. There are various robes for brotherhood members. The "nazareños" wear penitential robes called a "nazareño" which have very tall pointed hats called “capirotes." "Nazareños"often carry candles called "cirios." The "costaleros" don't wear the pointy “capirotes,” but often are often fully masked. The penitents carry crosses and wear robes with hoods too, but not the pointed hoods.
Pictures Easter processions Barcelona
Pictures Easter processions Hospitalet
Viewmap Barcelona Easter week - Semana Santa in a larger map
Palm Sunday - Domingo de Ramos
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter Sunday and signals the start of Semana Santa Easter Week. Palm Sunday is called "Domingo de Ramos" in Spanish and "Diumenge de Rams" in Catalan. Ramos and Rams means branches. In Barcelona there is a Palm Sunday procession called "La Borriquita" (little donkey) organised by the Parish of San Agustín (see maps, dates and times below.) All churches in Barcelona have Palm Sunday masses, which usually include a "Bendición de la Palma" palm blessing ceremony. At some churches the parish priests will go outside the church to bless people outside carrying laurel branches - "ramos de laurel" or palm stalks and leaves called "palmónes y palmas."
Boys carry the "palmónes" which are the tall palm stalks - and the girls carry the "palmas," which are smaller and with shorter stems and intricately woven crosses. The childrens' palm leaves often have small bags of sweets or toys on the palms tied to them, and are often decorated with Catalan "senyera" flag ribbons. Visit the Feria de Ramos markets in Barcelona outside Barcelona Cathedral, on the street Rambla de Catalunya or by the Sagrada Familia church, to find palmónes and palmas for sale on the days leading up to Palm Sunday. You can also buy them at most supermarkets. An Easter tradition in Spain is that Godmothers are responsible for making or getting the palm leaves for their Godchildren. In the old days this meant weaving palm leaves them by hand, but nowadays most Godmothers buy them ready made at the Feria de Ramos markets, or at the supermarket. Another tradition on Palm Sunday in Spain is that children should wear a new item of clothing. The saying goes "Domingo de Ramos - al que no estrena se le caen las manos!!" which means "Palm Sunday - if you don't wear something new you hands will drop off!"
There are four Palm Sunday markets in Barcelona called "Fira de Rams." You can find them in front of Barcelona La Seu Cathedral - on the street Rambla de Catalunya - at the famous Sagrada Familia church and in Sants area of Barcelona on Plaça Bonet i Muixi.
Palm Sunday procession & blessings
Parroquia de San Agustín
Domingo de Ramos - Palm Sunday processions Sunday 20th March 2016
Paso: La Borriquita (little donkey) Jesús enters Jerusalem in triumph on a donkey
Start: 10.00 Iglesia de San Agustín on Plaça Sant Agustí, 2, Raval
Finish: 12:00 same place
Procession route: Plaça Sant Agustí, Hospital, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Cucurulla, Portaferrisa, La Rambla, Hospital and back to Plaça Sant Agustí
Bendición de la Palma - palm blessing ceremonies
11:00 at Barcelona cathedral La Seu
12:00 at La Sagrada Familia church. Sagrada Familia closes from 9-15 during Palm Sunday Mass.
Barcelona Good Friday processions
What to do on Good Friday in Barcelona? Are shops open on Good Friday in Barcelona and Spain? The answer is no. Shops are closed in Barcelona on Good Friday and other Easter public holidays. Restaurants and museums are open. The Maregmagnum mall is partially open in Barcelona port. Viernes Santo processions in Barcelona. The first Good Friday parade in Barcelona starts In the Raval area at the church “La Iglesia de Sant Agustí” on Plaça Sant Agustí It starts at 17.00 hours with a very nice procession with two "paso" floats and around 300 participants and musicians. At 19.00 at the church “Iglesia de Sant Jaume” on Carrer de Ferran in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona another Good Friday Easter procession starts at 19.00 hours. To celebrate mass visit to the gothic Santa Maria del Mar church or the Barcelona Cathedral or the famous Sagrada Familia. For Palm Sunday decorations visit "Feria de Ramos" on the street Rambla de Catalunya
Good Friday 25th March 2016 - Iglesia de San Agustín
Processions by Hermandad del Gran Poder y la Esperanza Macarena
Paso Cristo: Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder
Paso de Palio: María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena
Start: 17.00 Iglesia de San Agustín, Plaça Sant Agustí, 2, Raval area
At 20:00 both processions join the procession of Nuestra Señora de las Angustias in front of Barcelona cathedral
Finish: around 22.30 same place
Plaça Sant Agustí, La Rambla, Santa Ana, Portal del Ángel, Arcs, Plaza Nova, Avenida Catedral, Boters, Pi, Plaza del Pi, Cardenal Casañas, Boqueria, Hospital and Plaça Sant Agustí
Good Friday 25th March 2016 - Iglesia de Sant Jaume
Procession by Hermanidad y Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
Paso: Nuestra Señora de las Angustias - Our Lady of Sorrows
Start: 19:00 Iglesia de Sant Jaume in Gothic area on Carrer de Ferran 28
At 20:00 they meet in front of Barcelona cathedral with the procession of la Hermandad de la Macarena
Finish: 23:00 at Iglesia de Sant Jaume
Procession route: Iglesia de Sant Jaume, Ferrán, Plaza San Jaime, Bisbe, Avenida de la Catedral, Boters, Portaferrissa, Ramblas and Ferrán, Iglesia de Sant Jaume
Good Friday 25th March 2016 - Santa Maria del Mar
Procession at Santa Maria del Mar basilica
Start: 09:30 Via Crucis procession - Procession of Stations of the Cross.
Procession route: Santa Maria del Mar, Fossar de les moreres, Pg del Born, Carrer del Rec, Carrer Bonaire, Carrer Rere palau, Marques argentera, Pla de Palau, carrer Espaseria and finish as Santa Maria del Mar
Good Friday 25th March 2016 - Barcelona Cathedral
Service and procession at Barcelona Cathedral
Start: 15:00 Sermó de les Set Paraules.
The Bearers of the Holy Christ of Lepanto bring the Holy Christ to the front of the Cathedral to be adored by the faithful at 15:00 on Good Friday.
A Canon reads the Sermon of the Seven Words, discussing the last seven words said by Jesus before his death
Start: 18:30 Via Crucis procession on Avinguda de la Catedral
Procession of Stations of the Cross on the Avinguda de la Catedral
Procession route: On Avinguda de la Catedral
Cofradia 15+1 Easter processions in Hospitalet area of Barcelona
The biggest Easter processions in Barcelona are in a suburb of Barcelona called Hospitalet de Llobregat, which can be reached by metro on blue L5 but few tourists seem to make the effort. It was here in Hospitalet in 1977 that homesick Andalusians were watching the Easter processions in Sevilla on TV and missed the wonderful processions of southern Spain so much, that they decided to start their own processions in Barcelona.
The "Asociación Cultural Andaluza Cofradía 15 +" - the brotherhood Cofradía 15+1 was formed. The number 15 was the number of original organisers and the number 1 was added later to symbolise the town of Hospitalet. This is the only cofradia brotherhood in Spain that organises all six Easter "paso" processions that mark the death and resurrection.of Christ. What also makes the Cofradia 15+1 unique is that their Easter processions are completely secular and have no church involvement at all. Around one million people usually follow the six Cofradia Easter processions. All Cofradía 15+1 processions start at Placa de la Bobila or from Carrer del Moli. The nearest Metro station to both points is Metro station: Can Vidalet on Blue L5
Programme Cofradia 15+1 processions
Pictures Cofradia 15+1 Semana Santa Hospitalet
Easter processions Hospitalet suburb
Domingo de Ramos - Palm Sunday
11:00 Paso Cristo - La Borriquita (little donkey)
18:30 Paso de Jusús Cautivo
Starts: Placa de la Bobila
Viernes Santo - Good Friday.
08.30 Paso de Jesús Nazareno
08:30 Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows)
21:00 Paso del Cristo de la Expiación (The Atonement of Christ)
Starts: Carrer del Moli
Sabado Santo - Easter Saturday
20:00 Paso del Santo Sepulcro (The Holy Tomb)
20:00 Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude)
Starts: Placa de la Bobila
Domingo de Resurrección - Resurrection Sunday (Easter Day)
18:00 Paso Jesús Resucitado (Resurrection of Jesus)
18:00 Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies)
Start: Placa de la Bobila
2016 Easter Sunday
Domingo de Resurrección - Resurrection Sunday (Easter Day)
Mass and services at all Barcelona churches. Popular churches to celebrate Easter Sunday are the Barcelona Cathedral, the Sagrada Familia or the Santa Maria del Mar church
Easter Monday - Día de la mona de Pascua
Easter Monday is also "Día de la mona de Pascua." In Catalonia the tradition Easter cake is called "Mona de Pascua" ("mones" in plural) and it is an important culinary Easter tradition. The cakes are called "monas" in Spanish and "mones" in Catalan. Between 750,000 and 850,000 Easter mona cakes are sold all over Barcelona and Catalonia for Easter. Catalan families spend an average of around €40 or €50 on this Easter cake. Pastry shops and chocolate shops make Mones de Pascua and many also make pure chocolate "mones," which you will see on display in their pastry shop windows.
The origins of the word “mona” are not clear, but it is thought that the word "mona" comes from Morocco, where “mona” means “gift." It might be from the latin word “muna” which has the same meaning. “Mona” also means monkey in Catalan, so monkeys are sometimes used as mona cake shapes. During Lent, the period of 40 days before Easter during which devout Catholics were not allowed to eat meat and eggs, they saved the eggs until Easter and then used them to make cakes. The mona tradition dates back to the 15th century and part of the tradtion is that this is a gift that a Godfather (or Godmother) bakes for their God-children on Easter Monday.
A traditional "mona" shape is a round cake similar to a big donut. The Mona recipe was originally marzipan and hard boiled eggs as the main ingredients. The number of eggs is supposed to correspond to the godchild's age, but no less than 2 and no more than 12. Nowadays a “mona” can have many shapes and themes and can also be made of chocolate.
Chocolatiers and bakers all over Catalonia compete to make the biggest and most spectacular “Mona de Pascua” creations and the best ones are even featured on TV. There are often Barça-themed monas to cheer FC Barcelona football team to victory in the Champions League football tournament. Visit one of Barcelona's most famous bakeries Escribà pasteleria to see an Easter mona creation in their shop window. Escriba has two locations on Las Ramblas and their original shop on Gran Via which has a big Easter mona on display in the window. Another top Barcelona pastry shop is Hofmann Pasteleria in the Born area. You can find more chocolate monas de Pascua in the Barcelona chocolate museum Museu de la Xocolata which is also in the Born area. Or make a typical Spanish Easter cake yourself. Here is a typicalEaster mona cake recipe.
Pastelerias - pastry shops Barcelona
Barcelona Chocolate Museum
Guide to chocolate Barcelona
Events calendar Barcelona
Website archdiocese of Barcelona (Spanish)
Hermanidad y Cofradía de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
Pictures of Easter in Seville
Easter celebrations near Barcelona
Easter processions in Catalonia can be found in many smaller towns that are 1-2 hours by car or train ride from Barcelona. Here are some suggestions for you. To find trains to the towns and villages mentioned below, visit theRenfe cercanies website
Easter at Montserrat monastery
The spectacular Montserrat Royal Basilica is about 1 hour from Barcelona. Visit Montserrat monastery website for information about mass services
Easter in Mataro
Mataro is 30 minutes north of Barcelona on the Maresme coast. Mataro organises impressive Good Friday processions, especially at “Basílica de Santa María” usually at 21:30.
Easter in Girona
Girona has an impressive Good Friday Easter procession at 22.00 in the evening from the gates of Girona Cathedral.
Easter in Tarragona
Tarragona is a city 1 hour south of Barcelona. See map. Tarragona has many Easter traditions including the "Armats" of Tarragona, which are legions of Roman soldiers, who march on Good Friday in preparation for the Holy Burial procession. This is usually in the evening around 8pm. This Tarragona Easter tradition dates back to the year 1550 and is inspired by Tarragona's city origins as an Imperial Roman city in the Roman empire. Tarragona still has impressive Roman ruins including a Roman amphitheatre and Roman circus.
Website Tarragona Semana Santa
La Danza de la Muerte de Verges
La Procesión de Verges. Dance of Death" - "La Dansa de la mort" in Catalan langauge and "La Danza de la Muerte de Verges" in Spanish language. Verges is a village near the Costa Brava in Catalonia, where villagers celebrate an ancient and unique dance of death every year in the evening of Easter Thursday - Maundy Thursday during Easter week. The procession is to the beat of drums and participents carry scythes, ashes and clocks. Participants perform a spooky dance in skeleton costumes or robes to symbolise the final judgement after death when it is decided if the soul goes to heaven, to purgatory, or to hell. One of the more strange Easter traditions! It is very popular to watch and thousands of spectators pay an small admission fee to watch the Verges procession in the medieval Verges village from the walls and towers.
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