Barcelona's Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a unique celebration of spirituality and culture that brings the city alive in April each year. Spain, being a Catholic country, has few religious traditions as important as Semana Santa. Easter is a huge event in the religious calendar, and during this holy week, processions take place throughout the country. From street parades to religious rituals, there are plenty of ways to experience this festive time.


Semana Santa in Barcelona

The Easter celebrations are not quite on the same scale as those of other Spanish cities like Sevilla, with Barcelona being a more modern and cosmopolitan city. However, Catholic traditions are still an important part of the city’s cultural fabric. If you spend the long Easter weekend in Barcelona, you will certainly see a lot going on.

A more recent secular tradition that defines Semana Santa in Barcelona is that many locals leave the city to take advantage of the long weekend, or “puente”, in the countryside. The combination of quieter streets, colorful festivities and pleasant spring weather makes Easter one of the best times of year to be in city.


Easter Parades in Barcelona

Palm Sunday is the most significant event in Barcelona during Semana Santa. A procession takes place in the Ciutat Vella known as “La Burreta” commemorating the arrival of Jesus in Bethlehem on a donkey. You’ll find palm stalls throughout the center of Barcelona, selling the bleached palm fronds carried around by the devout.

You’ll see colorful processions celebrating traditional Catholic rites, such as the Burial of Christ parade and Three Maries Procession. Passion Plays also reenact stories from the Bible as participants travel around Barcelona in theatrical floats. These processions are based in the Gótico neighborhood and Las Ramblas, so keep an eye out if you’re around the city center.


Typical Easter food in Barcelona

The most popular is an Easter cake known as ‘La Mona de Pascua’ is given out to children by godparents on Easter Sunday, as well as the classic chocolate eggs. There’s also a whole variety of sweet delicacies you’ll see in the city’s bakeries such as torrijas (bread pudding), mona de Pascua (an Easter cake made with eggs, figs, and almonds), rosquillas (small doughnuts), and buñuelos (fried bread balls).

April 1st, 2023

Posted in Culture, Things to do in Barcelona

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