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Holy Week in Malaga: history, itinerary and brotherhoods

Easter Week Malaga

Easter Week Malaga

Holy Week in Malaga is one of the great annual events in the capital of the Costal del Sol. It is celebrated from Palm Sunday (April 5 last year) to Easter Sunday and takes place in the midst of enormous expectation. Not in vain, Malaga is a city of great tradition and fervour for this religious, social and cultural celebration.

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

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.

Easter Week Malaga


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.

Holy Week Malaga itinerary

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 gathered up to thirty thousand people and is one of the highlights of Holy Week in Malaga. For security reasons, this type of congregation cannot take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Holy Week Malaga brotherhoods

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.

Easter Week Malaga 2021

It is now official the cancellation of the Holy Week of Malaga 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. On January 15th, the Bishop of the Diocese of Malaga, Jesus Catalá, made official the suspension 'sine die' of all events that have an external worship character and all celebrations on public roads.

This announcement seemed to come at any moment after other Andalusian cities such as Seville, Cadiz or Granada made it official a few days before.

The suspension of Holy Week in Malaga in 2020 already meant a hard blow to the people of Malaga by the sentimentality of the celebration, so according to senior public officials, will try to make this year is not the same and can be celebrated in some way.

We will have to wait for the development of the pandemic in Malaga, as January 2021 has been the worst month of the coronavirus in Malaga, so if the situation does not improve, no event can be held.

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