Semana Santa; Penitents Parade, Soller

In the evening after our soaking at the crag, we visited Soller to watch the Penitients Parade around the centre of town. This is a very solemn and long event in which even quite young children must walk slowly for a full 3 hours in the cold and dark sometimes carrying candles or heavy loads.

Easter week or ‘Semana Santa’ as it is known is a very important time in Soller. The town divides up into fraternities – groups of people attached to a local church who have an affinity to a particular group of penitents. The penitents dress in the robes of their particular fraternity and this includes wearing pointed hats, reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan, with eye holes cut out and the rest of the face covered.On Thursday – Dijous Sant (or Maundy Thursday) at 9.30pm the most solemn and silent procession takes place. The penitents carrying the religious figures slowly walk around the centre of Soller. They walk the narrow streets between the convent and the town centre. This is known as the Procession of Blood and it is the only time that our town is quiet. The marchers are silent and all the crowds who have come to take part stand silently as the parade passes by. The only sound is that of the mournful drums of the town band as they bring up the rear.On Good Friday there are services in all the churches and a solemn procession of the penitents starting at 8.30pm. This march is around the centre of town, in front of the main St Bartomeu church. On Easter Saturday the march of the penitents starts at 7.45pm and it heads out of the square up past the cemetery and up the mountain to Cami de Ses tres Creus, the site of the three crosses memorial, ending with a service in St Bartomeu church at 10pm.  Thanks to See Mallorca for the text

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