The week leading up to Easter, and especially Holy Thursday and Holy Friday, is full of ritual, display and devotion. Throughout the week, costaleros from Thirty Catholic associations, or brotherhoods, bear images of the Passion of Christ and of the Virgin Mary on their shoulders through the narrow streets for hours, taking turns under the heavy load. Thousands of candles and masked penitents leading the way and trailing behind, accompanied by music, add to the solemnity and symbolism.
Holy Week (Semana Santa) is a commemorative feast of Christ’s Passion in which the people publicly declare their faith. The city street fill up with processions, with clouds of incense wafting up into the air in the dim light of the candles carried by the Nazarenos (those who take part in the processions). There is a solemn, religious atmosphere which is an ideal backdrop for reflection in the company of others. From time to time, it is possible to hear a saeta (religious song) sung by a pious member of the public, a spontaneous demonstration of faith with a long historical tradition.
Nowadays, in Cordoba, there are 35 Brotherhoods of Penitents who organise the processions, some of which go back several centuries, and which all attract public of all ages and social classes.
Holy Week in Cordoba, unlike other cities, is silent and solemn. In addition, the processions take place against the stunning backdrop of the Historic Quarter of Cordoba, a World Heritage Site, making it into one of the most remarkable events in Andalusia.
One of the most widely revered images is El Rescatado, which is taken out on procession on Easter Sunday from the parish of Our Lady of Grace; on the Monday of Easter Week, el Cristo del Remedio de Ánimas, one of the most characteristic processions in the whole city, leaves the Church of San Lorenzo; Nuestra Señora de la Paz y la Esperanza, is taken on procession on the Wednesday from the Convent of Santo Ángel de los Padres Capuchinos; Nuestra Señora de las Angustias is taken out on Holy Thursday from the Church of San Pablo; El Esparraguero leaves from the parish of Our Lady of Grace also on Holy Thursday; La Virgen de los Dolores, draws a huge popular following in its procession on Good Friday, and is also honoured on the Friday before Palm Sunday; as well as these, there are many more.
More information: http://www.infocordoba.com/