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How To Best Enjoy Semana Santa And Other Feasts

A visit to a village feast on a Saturday night where children still play out in the street way past midnight is a common sight. In southern Spain in particular, as long as the sun shines, diners pack the terraces. And in warm season, way past dawn. Among the grandest public holidays in Andalucia, Semana Santa comes first.
To say that Semana Santa is the most important feast or holiday in Andalucia is not saying much. The celebrations, processions, crowds, preparations, the effort and funds that are being disbursed may seem to an untrained eye, well, preposterous. Let’s take just one example: one person  carrying the adorned statue of Mary, training for months, heaving along dozens of his colleagues, hundreds of kilograms on their shoulders and all that for what, you might ask ? For there is no material reward.

That feeling that one belongs to a community, that this makes sense on a spiritual level. The processions take days, sometimes weeks to unfold, time during which the traffic in Granada, Malaga, Seville, Cordoba or any other major town turns chaotic. There is no other holiday in Spain that is celebrated more widely. Then there are feasts constricted to a specific region: Fiesta de Moros Y Cristianos that commemorate the battles and fights between the Moors and the Christians only spans the communities of Granada, Jaen and Almeria, with a few exceptions.

The Carnival ( February) is celebrated widely in occidental Andalucia, think Cadiz and Jerez. Villages celebrate feasts and holidays several times a year, mostly in summer, but not only. Add to this that each village has its own village feast every year at the same date. It is a great time to be there to enjoy local music, food, crafts and late, very late nights.

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