Easter week (Semana Santa) in Marbella is something everyone should enjoy. The spectacle, the culture and the tradition will enthrall all who see it. The processions start joyous with Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem and become more sombre as the week progresses.
Please find below a full programme of processions for 2017:
On Thursday 5 January, a large crowd gathered in Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo to herald the arrival of the Three Kings (Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar).
They arrived just after midday on a Fly Blue Catamarán to the sound of cheering children, all keen to see them and grab hold of the caramelos (sweets) traditionally throw into the crowd by them. As usual, the Three Kings mingled with the crowd before setting off in three open top cars through the streets of Marbella to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) in the old town.
Virgen del Carmen is a festival celebrated every year in Marbella on 16 July.
The Virgen is the patron saint of fishermen and her statue is carried through the streets from the chapel in Marbella’s old town where it is stored to the Puerto de la Bajadilla (Marbella’s fishing port) accompanied by a band and local dignitaries. Crowds of people gather, cheer and throw white carnations at the procession.
Everyone in Marbella has really been looking forward to this year’s feria because, after a few years away, the daytime events have returned to the centre of town. Early on Monday evening, José Bernal Gutiérrez, the mayor of Marbella, joined other councillors at the feria ground next to the La Cañada shopping centre to officially open the feria by cutting the ribbon.
MarbellaAzul.com were as usual at the main event taking place on the terraces of the Puerto Deportivo in the centre of town where a specially erected stage and hundreds of seats had been arranged for an enthusiatic audience.
Important information: This year’s Marbella Feria will take place in and around the town, in the Parque de la Alameda and the Avenida del Mar. The night Feria will take place at the La Cañada III area where it was last year and all the concerts and shows will be performed at the auditorium there.
On Friday 29 April, the terraces above the Puerto Deportivo in Marbella were packed with people, there to see who was going to be chosen as the Marbella Feria Reina (Queen) and her Damas (Ladies) for 2016. The event was attended by José Bernal (the mayor of Marbella), Manuel Garcia (the Councillor for Fiestas) and other members of the government team. The show was compared by RTV Marbella’s presenter Roberto Caballero.
A special stage and sound system had been prepared for the event with a”‘Eurovision” theme and the Mayor started proceedings by unveiling the winning poster by Manuel Jesús Torrejón Pérez.
Easter Week this year was relatively early. It started with Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) on Sunday 20 March and ended with Easter Sunday (Domingo de Resurrrección) on Sunday 27 March. There was sporadic rainfall at the beginning of the week, but fortunately only only one of the processions in Marbella had to be cancelled.
Palm Sunday is always a happy and joyous occasion. The procession starts at the Capilla de San Juan de Dios at 18.00 and makes its way around the old town. The streets here are extremely narrow and the Tronos (thrones) are large and heavy. The palms you see the children carrying are special, because they signify the welcoming of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.
On Saturday 13 February, the Grand Parade de Humor (the highlight of the Marbella Carnival) set out from the Parque de la Represa to the east of Marbella’s old town and headed for Avenida Ricardo Soriano. Towns and villages throughout Andalucia hold carnivals in the period leading up to Lent every year. The Cadiz Carnival is one of the biggest, but Marbella rarely disappoints. This year was great. A wonderful spectacle.
As usual, the participants had put an amazing amount of time and effort preparing the costumes and the floats. There was colour everywhere. And absolutely everyone was smiling and having a great time. The band was a show in itself. They didn´t just play their music. They also danced and entertained the huge crowd of people as they marched through Marbella’s streets. The people on stilts were amazing. How on earth do they walk the whole route on stilts!
On the evening of 5 January, everyone headed for Avenida Ricardo Soriano (the main street in Marbella) to see the annual Three Kings parade. This year’s theme was popular movies. The first, as you might expect, was Star Wars with Darth Vader and his stormtroopers showing off their skills with light sabres and of course everyone’s favourite Princess Leia. The municipal band were as usual at the start of the parade playing some stirring music to get us in the mood.
We then enjoyed a huge hippopotamus, a hairy mammoth, a giraffe, and an extremely life like gorilla – all rocking to the music. The floats were beautifully prepared and full of film characters and children throwing caramelos to the crowd. It was a wonderful end to the Christmas and New Year festivities here in Marbella.
On 5 January, a large crowd gathered in Marbella’s Puerto Deportivo to welcome the arrival of the Three Kings (Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar) who were due to arrive by sea just after midday.
They arrived on a Fly Blue Catamarán to the sound of cheering children, all eagerly awaiting the caramelos (sweets) which they traditionally throw into the crowd. After spending some time mingling with the crowd and posing for pictures with the children, they got into the three open top cars (a Bentley, a Jaguar and a Porsche) and set off through the streets of Marbella to great acclaim.
Christmas has now officially arrived here in Marbella and this year’s Christmas lights are splendid. And don’t forget to check out the side streets and the Old Town it really does look like a magical wonderland – see images below.
The Town Hall has worked hard this year, providing plenty of activities for everyone. You will find all the information you need in our Events Calendar. There is so much going on here and we will continue to update you throughout the Christmas period, which ends on the 6 January.
Virgen del Carmen is celebrated every year in Marbella on 16 July. She is the patron saint of fishermen and her statue is carried through the streets from the chapel where she is stored to the Puerto de la Bajadilla (Marbella’s fishing port), accompanied by a band and a number of local dignatories. Crowds gather, cheer and throw white carnations.
On arrival at the fishing port, the fishing boats are blessed . The throne is then transferred to a boat and she makes her way by sea to Puerto Banús accompanied by local fishermen, numerous pleasure boats and jet skis. On the return journey, the flowers are thrown into the sea as an offering to those who lost their lives at sea and a blessing is given. The procession then returns to the Puerto Deportivo (Marina) in Marbella and makes its way through the streets of Marbella back to her chapel.
Noche de San Juan (the night of San Juan) is on June 23 every year. It is a celebration of the summer solstice and it takes place on Marbella’s beaches with roaring bonfires and plenty of food and drink. It can be a memorable, surrealistic scene and it is one that just has to be experienced.
Water and Fire are the basic elements and it is believed that these counterparts create a mythical connection.It is said to be a magical night when strange occurrences happen on this the shortest night of the year. For example, certain pagan gods are said to make themselves visible.
On Monday 8 June, we all headed for the terraces above the Puerto Deportivo to see the opening ceremony for this year’s feria celebrating San Bernabé, Marbella’s patron saint.
The stage and the seating were set up earlier in the day ready for one of the biggest shows of the year. And, as the sun started to go down, the crowds and this year’s participants started arriving to take their places.
Easter (Semana Santa) in Marbella Is all about religious processions, sun, sea and lunch on the beach. This year, the weather was glorious with temperatures peaking at 25°C. There were just a few delicate clouds in the sky and no rain.
As usual, the town was busy with lots of visitors from Madrid and the other Spanish cities and a few thousand foreign visitors. Marbella is still extremely popular for people wanting to take an Easter break. The procession on Easter Sunday includes two tronos (thrones) and is a celebration of Jesus´s resurrection. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, otherwise known as Easter Week or Semana Santa. As you will see from our pictures below, the main difference between this procession and all the others is the hoods worn by the various brotherhoods.
Palm Sunday is the first day of Semana Santa (Easter week) and the procession through Marbella´s old town commemorates Jesus’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem.
You will see from the images below and on our Marbella Gallery that many of the children taking part in the procession are carrying palm branches. These represent the palm branches scattered by the crowd in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. This was a way of honouring an important person’s arrival. As this is a joyous occasion, the bands accompanying the two Tronos (thrones) play rousing songs to lift the spirits.
On Sunday 22 February, we captured all the colour and excitement of the carnival parade through the streets of Marbella.
Clearly, everyone had worked very hard this year. The costumes were fantastic and extremely colourful with adults, children and groups of people providing great attention to detail. The parade was of course full of music, dance and fun – just as carnival parades should be. Carnival week is celebrated in the run up to Lent throughout Andalucia. The one in Cadiz being the largest and most colourful.
At 12.30 pm on 5 January, the Three Kings (Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar) arrived by boat in Marbella´s Puerto Deportivo to be greeted by several hundred local people and Marbella´s mayor Angeles Muñoz.
They were then taken by car through the marina area distributing sweets to the children as they went. You will find some of our images below: