For Roman Catholics, Easter Week is the time for remembering and honoring the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ. Although we live in a secular society where religious devotion is not predominant, there still remain in Catalonia some religious traditions which have their principal depictions during Easter Week: the Processions and the theatrical performances of the Passion of Christ.
The Christian Processions take place on Good Friday (this year, March 25th) in many towns and Villages of Catalonia. They are also known as the Processions of the Holy Funeral because they are a recreation of the Passion or Via Crucis of Christ, which, according to the Sacred Scripture, took place on Good Friday. They consist of street parades organized by religious brotherhoods, where wood sculptures of Christ or some Blessed Virgin are carried on shoulders from the Churches throughout the streets of the town so that everyone can adore and cry for them. These processions are held under the moonlight and in silence. Even if you are not a Believer, Holy Week Processions are really worth to see as a typical and traditional celebration of each town or village. The Silence Parades can be quite impressive too.
Passions in Catalonia are theatrical performances of the story of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. Like in the Christmas performances of Pastorets, the traditional performances of the Passion of Christ have evolved into almost professional stages ff theater shows. There are two towns in Catalonia, Olesa de Montserrat and Esparraguera, known for it outstanding performances of The Passion. Both towns offer a first-class theater shows depicting the trial, suffering and death of Jesus with amateur actors but a professional production and a high artistic quality, which make of them yearly spectacular theater shows. The modernity of the text, the actors’ performance, the effects and the work of a technical team are on the level of the best professional shows. The people’s effort has made the show become famous over the period of several decades and the results make people proud. Performances of The Passion are held during Easter week and also on the previous and following weeks.
Wherever in Catalonia you are during the Holy Week, you can be a witness of some of our typical traditions attending a Street Christian Procession or, if you are religious devotee, you will truly enjoy any of the performances of The Passion.
For further details about Barcelona’s Processions and the performances of The Passion in Olesa and Esparraguera visit the following websites.
Processions in Barcelona: http://culturapopular.bcn.cat/en/noticia/barcelona-celebrates-easter-week-with-processions
La Passió d’Olesa de Montserrat: http://www.lapassio.cat/ca/english
La Passió d’Esparraguera: http://www.lapassio.net/pagina.php?idMiniLloc=25