Holy Week in Malaga: history, itinerary and brotherhoods

Easter Week Malaga

The Holy Week of Malaga is one of the great annual events that the capital of the Costal del Sol lives. It is celebrated from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and takes place in the midst of enormous expectation. Not in vain, Malaga is a city of great tradition and fervor for this social and cultural religious celebration.

The Holy Week of Malaga was declared of International Tourist Interest in 1980 but its origins go back much earlier.

Easter Week Malaga 2023

This is the second consecutive year that the event has been held after a two-year hiatus and due to the good weather it is proving to be a successful Easter Week so far.

One of the most anticipated events will arrive on Holy Thursday with the disembarkation of the Christ of the Good Death, which will arrive at the port of Malaga at 10:30 am. If you want to go to see it, it is advisable to go in advance because thousands of people come to receive it. The Christ will be transferred from the port to the Plaza Fray Alonso Santo Tomás and in the afternoon the awaited procession will take place.

A day before, on Holy Wednesday, another of the most important events will take place, which is the liberation of a prisoner, a tradition that dates back to the 18th century. Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral and later in the afternoon the act of liberation will take place in the Plaza del Obispo. For those who do not know this tradition, the prisoner has to meet a series of requirements, it cannot be a blood crime, he has to have a large part of the sentence served and the pardon has to be approved by a commission. This year the pardoned prisoner is Antonio M.P., a 31 year old young man who was excited and grateful for this second chance.

If you are interested in following the day by day of the Holy Week processions of Malaga 2023 we recommend you to download the App “el penitente”, which is a very complete guide about schedules and itineraries.

History of Easter Week in Malaga

The tradition of Holy Week in Malaga dates back to the conquest of the city by the Catholic Monarchs in 1487. At that time the first brotherhoods and confraternities were established, supported by the religious orders.

The first brotherhood dates back to 1505. It is the Cofradía de las Fusionadas and its creation is directly related to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella.

A few years later, in the first half of the 16th century, the rest of the Passion brotherhoods were created that opened the way for the festival: Vera-Cruz, Sangre, Ánimas de Ciegos, Monte Calvario or Soledad.

Years later, after the Council of Trent (between 1545 and 1563), the Church itself promoted the creation of carvings and their display in the streets. The aim of these religious motifs displayed in the street was to combat the growing Protestantism. This is how the thrones, so characteristic of Malaga’s Holy Week, were born.

This fact, moreover, gave rise to the consolidation of the different brotherhoods, corporations, and that each one had its own religious throne.

Semana Santa Málaga


The processions in the Holy Week of Malaga begin on Palm Sunday until Good Friday. Holy Saturday is free until Easter Sunday, when a figure of the Resurrected Jesus comes out accompanied by representatives of all the brotherhoods of Malaga.

The official route of the Holy Week circulates through various streets of the center. Visitors usually admire the great popular devotion of many Malagueños/as at the time of seeing their Christs and Virgins in procession.

Most of the brotherhoods have their own house or museum where they exhibit their thrones and religious cloaks that can be visited.

One of the main characteristics of Holy Week in Malaga is the size of its thrones. Unlike the festival in other cities, the thrones in Malaga are larger than in other cities, where they are called “pasos”.

In addition to their size, the thrones are also famous for their great cultural interest. Also, the people who carry the thrones are called “hombres de trono” and not costaleros, as in most cities with Holy Week.

The men of the throne, unlike the costaleros, carry the structure by holding some poles that protrude from the throne. That is, they do not get inside the throne to carry it.

Semana Santa Málaga itinerario

Holy Week Brotherhoods

Some of the highlights of Holy Week in Malaga come on Easter Monday: this is when thousands of locals flock to the famous parish church of San Pablo to admire the transfer of the images of the Brotherhood of Jesus Cautivo and Mary of the Trinity to the throne where they will walk through Malaga.

This event has come to congregate thirty thousand people and is one of the great moments of Holy Week in Malaga.

On Easter Monday, the Brotherhood of Jesús de la Columna y María Santísima de la O, known as the brotherhood of the Gypsies, departs from Frailes Street. This is also another of the most visited.

Some military and security corps accompany certain brotherhoods. The Legion is with the Cristo de la Buena Muerte; the Regulares with the Cautivo; the Paratroopers with Ánimas de Ciegos; the Cavalry with the Zamarrilla; the Navy with the Soledad or the Civil Guard with the Cofradía de la Expiración.

Semana Santa Málaga hermandades

The Virgen de la Esperanza is another of the most popular brotherhoods(click here to know the most famous ones) of the Holy Week in Malaga.

Not only in Malaga capital, throughout the province Easter is also celebrated. We are talking about places like Alhaurín el Grande, Alhaurín de la Torre, Antequera, Vélez-Málaga, Ronda, Ríogordo, Istán, Arriate, Campillos or Archidona.

In all these municipalities the Week was also declared a Festival of Tourist Interest.

Make the most of the occasion and, since you are in Malaga for Easter, you will be able to visit and do many other things to get to know the city.

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