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Easter Week in Cartagena
From: 2015.04.01 To: 2015.04.08
The Easter week celebrations in this town are outstanding for the magnificent floral decorations on the religious statues. In Cartagena there is a notable “rivalry” between the two main religious brotherhoods, the marrajos the californios. The former of these dates back to the beginning of the 17th century and their chosen colour is purple, while the latter was founded in 1747, with the colour red. The processions last ten days and have some unique features, such as the exuberant floral decorations on the pasos (religious statues) and the way the story of the Passion of Christ is represented in chronological order. Also unusual are the nazarenos: most of them are children, with their faces uncovered, and they distribute souvenirs of the different brotherhoods and sweets amongst the crowd. Almost all the processions take place at night, and the majority start and finish at Santa María de Gracia church. One of the most emotional moments takes place right at the door of this church, when the processions finish with the entrance of the Virgin Mary, and thousands of people sing the Salve Popular Cartagenera together. Among the most popular processions are the Virgen de la Caridad, the Traslado de los Apóstoles, the Easter Wednesday Procession and the Santo Encuentro. You can watch them comfortably seated, or otherwise on various different sections of the route, moving from one to the next on parallel streets. The price of seats varies according to the area and the day in question, and they can be hired from the booths set up in Plaza de San Sebastián Square, Plaza del Icue Square and on Calle Aire Street. There are some parts of the route that are particularly recommended – they are specially spectacular on account of the complicated manoeuvres at these points: this is the case in Calle Jara Street, at the meeting point of Aire and Cañon streets, of Cañon and Mayor streets, and at the entrance to Santa María church. If you want to take home a souvenir, you can buy the insignias of the different brotherhoods and typical festive sweets, “sepulcros”, at the stalls in Calle San Miguel Street. Easter week is one of the most spectacular and emotional fiestas here. Religious devotion, art, colour and music combine in acts to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ: the processions. Members of the different Easter brotherhoods, dressed in their characteristic robes, parade through the streets carrying religious statues (pasos) to the sound of drums and music – scenes of sober beauty.