Holy Week in Madrid 2017
Are you planning to spend your Easter holidays in Madrid? If the answer to this question is “YES”, then here you have our recommendations. From Leaf Madrid, we want you to enjoy this city in the best possible way. Although It is true that the Holy Week celebrations in Seville, Valladolid or Zamora are more famous, the capital also has a lot to offer and here we will show it to you in the Holy Week in Madrid!
But first of all…When and What do we celebrate during the Holy Week?
Everything starts in Palm Sunday (April 9) till the following Sunday, Easter Sunday (April 16). We all know that these dates vary year after year … but why?
Because this celebration depends on the moon cycle, so we calculate it by keeping in mind that Easter Sunday takes place after the first full moon after the equinox in March. Easy, right? … well, Let’s say that this celebration always falls between March 22 and April 25. We let you calculating the following Holy Week.
During these days Christianity commemorates the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ. This period is the most represented by artists for its iconographic richness, therefore, our first recommendation is to visit the Prado Museum to recreate everything through paintings.
Palm Sunday (April 9) commemorates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem whom the people received with olive branches and palms. So prepare these two items and go with them to the procession “Nuestro padre Jesús del Amor” that begins at 16:30 from the Cathedral Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena and continues throught Calle Bailén, Mayor, Arenal, Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía to finally reach the Iglesia of “Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas” in Calle la Palma (Malasaña).
The triumphal entry as the Jesus provoked envy between the Jesus’enemies and the desire to end with his life. On Holy Wednesday (April 12) the religious tribunal meets Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, to condemn Christ. This day sets the end of Lent and the beginning of Easter. Precisely because of Lent, time of fasting and abstinence, we find the origin of a typical dessert. A dessert that the Grandmas always make for this period! Torrijas! You can taste it in any bakery in Madrid but here and of course we will recommend the best La Mallorquina (Puerta del Sol) or the nearby El Riojano confectionery (Calle Mayor).
Torrijas is a dessert made of bread, egg, sugar, cinnamon, milk or wine. Ingredients that were chosen for their high calorie content to supply the lack of energy caused by fasting and abstinence as a way of sacrifice. They were also made during the poverty times, as its ingredients are very cheap … they are usually served with a good glass of wine that represents the Blood of Christ. Here you have some Torrijas!
After this sweet break, let’s continue with the story of the Easter. When Jesus discovered that he was going to be executed, he gather to their disciples to have the Last Supper, and after that, he washed their feet and announced the betrayal of Judas. In the painting of The Lavatory of Tintoretto (Museo del Prado) this episode can be seen. The traitor is also depicted here, can you see him?
He is standing at the background of the image hiding a bag with thirty silver coins, the amount of money that he got for his betrayal.
We recommend you to take your time to observe this well-known painting (Museo del Prado) because of the impeccable perspective it presents. We invite you to go from left to right while staring at the table in the center … What happens with the perspective is magic!
The last supper and the Lavatory are commemorated on Holy Thursday (April 13).
Good Friday (April 14) commemorates the death of Jesus on the Cross. That is the reason why the Catholic Church orders to keep fasting and abstinence from the meet as penance. This Christian tradition has influenced the gastronomy a lot, so if you want to follow the meat abstinence tradition, in Madrid you can go to the Plaza Mayor to taste the typical, economic and succulent Bocadillo de Calamares! But if you prefer the cod … then the specialists in cooking it are emplaced in number 12 of the Calle Tetuan, in the historical restaurant Casa Labra, next to the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol. But if you don’t like fish, there is more variety in the capital to face abstinence such as Potaje de Vigilia (kind of soup with legume) in Casa Perico. You can find them in calle Ballesta, 18 in the district of Malasaña.
After the meal (whatever you finally choose) you have an appointment with “El Barrio de las Letras” to enjoy the most famous parade in Madrid,the Parade of Jesús Nazareno de Medinaceli, that begins at 19:00 leaving from the Basilica de Jesús de Medinaceli (Plaza de Jesús, 2) and continuing with the famous Plaza de Santa Ana, Calle de Echegaray, Cervantes and Lope de Vega.
Here the bad news come…This day you must divide your heart, because at the same time the spectacular procession Santísimo Cristo de los Alabarderos takes place. The protagonists will be the Royal Guard, who accompany the Christ from the Royal Palace to the Cathedral emplaced in Calle Mayor, the Armed Forces Cathedral.
The final touch to all the celebrations is the music that accompanies to each one of the processions, but we emphasize the importance of the Tamborrada (“Drum Performance”) that will take place in Plaza Mayor, as a tribute to its IV Centenary at 12:00 on Sunday of Easter (16 April); the day when Christ’s Resurrection is commemorated and sets the end for the Holy Week in Madrid.
Of course this is just a summary of what Madrid has to offer you during Holy Week … Further information can be found in the official page of the CityCouncil.
We end this post wishing you sunny and not rainy days for this Holy week in Madrid(that unfortunately this is how they are usually)!
And of course, if you want to get to know the most important and historical monuments and streets in Madrid, you have an important date with us, Leaf Madrid, in order to travel together around the stages where the most important processions will go through, as well as some of the Centenarian gastronomic places that we have recommended above. Discover them in Our Free Walking Tour in Madrid !