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javeamigos.com | EASTER IN XÀBIA

javeamigos.com | EASTER IN XÀBIA

Easter - Pascua - is a major religious celebration in Spain and Xàbia has a full devotional programme to mark this special event (see below). The festival commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead after his crucifixion, the cornerstone of the Christian faith on which much of its religious doctrine and theology is based. Christians believe this event to be the most important in history, demonstrating a power over life and death which leads to eternal life, and is the most important to be celebrated during the year.

Semana Santa
Palm Sunday kicks off Semana Santa - Holy Week - during which Christians remember the Passion of the Christ, the final few days in the life of Jesus which began with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and ended with his crucifixion and death (Good Friday). As it's the biggest religious celebration of the year - much bigger than Christmas - it's a popular week for the Spanish to take a holiday so resorts such as Xàbia will become livelier and it's always best to reserve tables to eat in bars and restaurants throughout the week and especially over the Easter weekend.

Some of the biggest celebrations during Semana Santa take place in Andalusia with grand processions in Granada, Málaga and Spain whilst more sombre acts take place in Zamora and Valladolid, the latter of which hosts one of the most spectacular and emotional events of the Easter period. Perhaps one of the most endearing images are the nazarenos, penitents wear pointed hoods and long robes who accompany the religious images, some walking bare-footed. Down in the south, Holy Week in Málaga is one of the main cultural events of the year with over 40 brotherhoods taking part in 45 processions through the streets of the city which show the events of the Passion of the Christ through very realistic wooden sculptures. On the morning of Maundy Thursday the Spanish Legion carries the image of the Christ of the Good Death from the port of Málaga to the Iglesia de Santo Domingo in an act known as a "transfer" which is a very famous and great anticipated moment, often transmitted live on television. The soldiers carry the 180kg cross on their shoulders whilst singing their unofficial slow march "El Novio de la Muerte" - "Bridegroom of Death" - and it's an emotional event for all who both participate and watch from the sidelines. YouTube Link: "Traslado del Cristo de la Buenta Muerte 2018".

In Xàbia there is a very special and rather emotional procession on the evening of Good Friday. Four sacred images are carried along a short route around the historic centre, a solemn affair accompanied by slow music from the town's band and emotional singing by an all-male choir. There is a brief clash of culture as the slow procession crosses the colourful Easter market stalls which line the Carrer Major over the long holiday weekend.

Easter Sunday
There are a number of Eucharist services throughout the day at the churches of San Bartolomé in the town and Loreto in the port. One of the popular acts of the day is the traditional gathering of the penyas and associations in the square around the church in the heart of the historic centre, a noisy and sometimes boisterous couple of hours in the early afternoon during which a number of temporary bars offer food and drink whilst hats, cakes and other home-made items can be bought at several stores. It's a great occasion to bring the people of Xàbia together as the groups boost their funds for participating in the town's fiestas or to provide help and assistance to others. It's all over by mid-afternoon and everyone drifts off the enjoy a lunch together in one of the surrounding bars and restaurants.

Traditional Easter Food
Mona de Pascua is popular in Valencia and Catalunya, a cake traditionally given to children which is topped with either a boiled egg or a chocolate equivalent.
Torrijas are thick pieces of bread soaked in a mixture of milk and egg before being fried with olive oil and served with honey and sugar.
Pestiños are pieces of dough, often flavoured with sesame, which are fried in olive oil and served with honey or sugar; it's very popular in southern Spain.
Hornazo is a meat pie often filled with pork loin, chorizo and hard-boiled eggs which is popular in Salamanca and Ávila.
Flores de Semana Santa are sweet and fried pastries which come in different shapes; they are also known as flores manchegas.
Potaje de Vigilia
is a dish traditional served on Good Friday which is made of cod, chickpeas, spinach and garlic.
Buñuelos is a fried doughnut made from the simple ingredients of water, milk, egg or yeast and can be sweet or savoury.
Leche Frita
is a sweet popular in northern Spain made by cooking flour with milk and sugar until it becomes firm and then topped with cinnamon and a sugar glaze.
are dumplings of thin dough fried with a custard filling and traditionally served in Madrid.
Sopa de Ajo
is a soup often made with garlic, chicken broth, egg and sherry which is traditionally served during Semana Santa.

Strange Easter Traditions
On the evening of Maundy Thursday the village of Verges in Catalunya witnesses five skeletons dancing through its streets to rhythm of drums, a 'danse macabre' which has been common across most of Europe since medieval times as a reminder that the "Dance of Death" claims everyone, rich and poor. In the city of León, a grand bar crawl of many thousands of people each Maundy Thursday marks the anniversary of the death of a well-known local man called Genaro Blanco who was run over by a rubbish lorry in 1929 whilst relieving himself against the city walls. Jailed Catholics might find themselves freed at Easter, a tradition that stretches back to 1759 when a riot broke out in a prison in Málaga after inmates found out that the Easter procession was to be cancelled due to an outbreak of plague. They forced their way out of the prison and carried the image of Jesus through the streets before returning to life behind bars. Carlos III was so impressed that he decided to pardon two dozen prisoners every Easter; it's a tradition that continues to this day. In Cuenca people known as 'las turbos' jostle the nazarenos to try and prevent them from carrying the image of Jesus through the streets; they are said to represent the mob of Jews who ridiculed Jesus on his journey to his crucifixion.

The Xàbia Easter Craft Market
The craft market is one of the oldest in the Comunidad Valenciana and fills the streets with great colour and fantastic aromas from Good Friday until Easter Monday. There are many stalls offering hand-crafted items including decorations, toys and souvenirs as well as tasty sweets and chocolate and marvellous spices. In the Placeta del Convent there are a number of food stalls offering hams, cheeses, olives as well as snacks such as kebabs, sausages, pizzas and much more. With the family entertainment on offer throughout the weekend, it's a great option for all the family to enjoy over the Easter period.




Monday 15th April, Tuesday 16th April, Wednesday 17th April
12:00 & 17:00 - Confessions

Monday 15th April, Tuesday 16th April, Wednesday 17th April
20:00 - Eucharist. Confessions 30 minutes before.

Thursday 18th April (Jueves Santo - Maundy Thursday)
17:00 - Eucharist (Convento de las Agustinas)
18:30 - Eucharist.
20:00 - Solemn Eucharist of the Last Supper.
23:00 - Mass.

Thursday 18th April (Jueves Santo)
17:00 - Eucharis.
19:00 - Eucharist.
20:00 - Solemn Eucharist of the Last Supper and Washing of the Feet.
23:00 - Mass.

Friday 19th April (Viernes Santo - Good Friday)
07:00 - Devotional Procession - Stations of the Cross.
16:00 - Celebration of the death of the Lord (Convento de las Agustinas).
17:30 - Celebration of the death of the Lord.
19:30 - Holy Procession through the streets of the historic centre.

Friday 19th April (Viernes Santo - Good Friday)
06:45 - Devotional Procession - Stations of the Cross.
10:00 - Mass for children and families.
19:00 - Celebration of the Passion of the Lord.

Saturday 20th April
22:00 - Solemn Easter Vigil

Saturday 20th April
22:30 - Solemn Easter Vigil

Sunday 21st April (Domingo de Resurreción - Easter Sunday)
09:00 - Eucharist (Convento de las Agustinas)
10:00 - Eucharist.
12:00 - Eucharist.
19:00 - Eucharist.

Sunday 21st April (Domingo de Resurreción - Easter Sunday)
09:00 - Eucharist.
11:00 - Eucharist.
12:00 - Eucharist.
19:00 - Eucharist.
20:00 - Eucharist.


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