Tag Archives: Semana Santa

Semana Santa Processions in Ronda

Semana Santa (Holy Week) Processions in Ronda 2012

In any traditionally Christian nation Easter celebrations are common, though in the English speaking world we are more likely to simply scavenge for chocolate eggs, bunny rabbits, and other miscellaneous chocolate shapes in the back garden and consider the holiday over when all the “eggs” have been eaten.

In Spain which was until the advent of democracy officially a Catholic nation, processions involving hundreds of men, women, and children are common, with groups of people carrying heavy pasos adorned with Easter iconography. In Andalucia, three cities especially are renowned for their processions that attract thousands or millions of bystanders to watch them. They are Sevilla, Malaga, and tiny Ronda.

The processions start on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), all are organized by local Catholic Brotherhoods, and may involve several hours of hot sweaty walking through the city streets until the icon returns to its church at which point a party may start that lasts longer than the actual procession.

Women are often dressed in the finest outfits or in complete mourning black, children in communion dress, and men wearing robes with tall pointy hats unless they´re helping to carry the icon. Many will be carrying banners, or holding tall candles. In total there are 14 processions taking place in Ronda over 8 days.

Palm Sunday
11:00 from the church San Antonio de Padua (Barrio Dehesa) to be in Plaza Socorro after 13:05, and returning to the church at 15:30.

17:00 from the church San Cristobal (Barrio San Cristobal) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 21:15, and returning to the church at 23:30.

20:00 from the church Santa Maria la Mayor (Old Town) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 23:15, and returning to the church at 01:30.

Easter Monday
20:30 from the church Santa Cecilia (Los Descalzos) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 23:30, and returning to the church at 01:00.

Easter Tuesday
22:00 from the church Padre Jesus (Barrio de Padre Jesus), then across the Puente Viejo (Roman Bridge) and up Cuesta de Santo Domingo, along c/ Tenorio and finishing at the Santa Maria la Mayor church.

Spy Wednesday
20:15 from the church San Cristobal (Barrio San Cristobal) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 22:45, and returning to the church at 24:00.

23:00 from the church Santa Maria la Mayor (Old Town), this is the eerily silent procession, the only sound that of chains being dragged on the street by penitents. Plaza Socorro at 01:00, and returning to the church at 03:00.

Maundy Thursday
20:15 from the church Santa Maria la Mayor (Old Town) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 22:00, then returning to the church at 23:30.

19:30 from the sanctuary Virgen de la Paz (Old Town), this is the procession involving the Spanish Legion carrying the Body of Christ. Plaza Socorro at 22:30, returning to the church at 01:00.

23:00 from the church Padre Jesus (Barrio Padre Jesus) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 01:15, returning to the church at 03:30.

Good Friday
12:00 from the church Santa Cecilia (Los Descalzos) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 14:15, then returning to the church 15:30.

19:00 from the Brotherhood Lodge (Barrio San Francisco) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 22:15, then returning to the lodge at 00:30.

20:45 from the church la Merced (in front of the Alameda Park) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 23:00, then returning to the church at 00:15.

Easter Sunday
10:30 from the church Espiritu Santo (Barrio San Francisco) to be in the Plaza Socorro at 12:45, returning to the church at 15:30.

Recipe for Torrijas, an Easter Treat in Spain

Every Easter, kown as Semana Santa in Spain, local bakeries and patisseries will make up special Easter desserts, and in Ronda the pick of the bunch is called Torrijas, a sweet treat made with bread as the base, filled with custard, and drowned in honey or sugar and served on a plate to be eaten with a knife and fork.

Of course as is typical of the Spanish, every region will have their own variation, so the recipe I’m going to share with you may not be exactly how your Spanish friends would make it, so be careful you don’t offend them by saying this recipe is the best, instead nod knowingly when they tell you what is missing, or how they’d make it, and then when their back is turned choose the recipe you prefer.

Torrijas (Br Eng: Bread Pudding – Am Eng: French Toast) originated right here in Andalucia and is eaten during the 40 days of lent, originally prepared by nuns in their convents that they would sell or keep for their own after work treats. Back in the 15th century when the recipe was first created bread would go stale quickly, and torrijas came about as a means to reusing day old bread, which for many is the only food permitted to be eaten during lent.

1 loaf of bread
1 packet of Royal custard powder
1 litre of milk
8 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup if sweet Anise
6 eggs
Sunflower oil
sugar and cinnamon (for dipping)
honey (for coating)

First, prepare the custard and allow it to cool, you might want to use a higher ratio of custard powder than you’d normally when making custard. We want it be custard cream, rather than poring dessert.

Add the milk and anise together in a flat bowl, then soak the bread in it. If you don’t have day old bread you can lightly toast the bread so that it absorbs the milk.

Spread some of the custard between two slices of the bread, and then dip in a bowl with the eggs beaten.

Fry the bread/custard sandwiches over a hot even temperature until golden brown.

There are two choices for finishing the recipe, either heavily sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixed together making sure to cover both sides, or pour heated honey (mixed with water in a 50/50 mixture) over the torrijas.

This recipe makes a spectacular sweet treat for breakfast with a cup of hot strong coffee, or leave to cool and serve as a dessert with pieces of fruit on top.

Costalero Suffers Fatal Heart Attack During Setenil Easter Procession

During last nights Easter Procession in Setenil de las Bodegas, one of the Costalero’s suffered a heart attack and was immediately taken to the local health center but passed away whilst being cared for. He was Francisco Ruiz, a 44 year old resident of Setenil.

Witnesses described seeing Ruiz stumble out from under the Virgen de los Dolores paso at 23:30, and then collapsing in the street. The procession halted to allow friends to rush Ruiz to the local medical centre where doctors had been informed to expect him, by which time he required urgent cardio resuscitation.

Today the village of Setenil is in shock, with Brotherhood foreman Jesus María Robles paying respect to Ruiz who had been a consistent bearer for 20 years. Ruiz’s funeral will take place at 7pm in Setenil’s cemetery this afternoon and the entire village is expected to attend to pay their last respects.

Carrying the pasos is a very demanding task, some can weigh several tonnes, but it is considered a great honour to be selected. Francisco Ruiz was well known in the village, and an active member of the Brotherhood of Santa Vera Cruz. Ronda Today offers our condolences to his family during this difficult time.

Poster for Ronda’s Semana Santa 2010

Edit: You can get the itinerary for Ronda’s 2010 Semana Santa processions here.

The poster advertising Semana Santa 2010 in Ronda has been announced by the Hermandades del Huerto, Prendimiento y Gitanos, showing a photograph of one of the icons inside Ronda’s many churches.

Clothed in a red tunic with gold leaf, and supported by an angel, the float has already won the hearts and minds of Ronda’s Christians many of whom are delighted to see it featured on the poster used to promote the Holy Week in Ronda.

Semana Santa Poster 2010
Semana Santa Poster 2010
The poster was designed by Jesus Lopez and Ana Belen Cabrera who took the photo during Semana Santa 2009.

This year sees Easter fall between the 15th and 24th of April, though the official calendar of events for the week has yet to be finalised.

Holy Week, known as Semana Santa in Spanish, is a week of religious processions and fiestas, and is a bigger celebration than Christmas. Through Semana Santa each of the Catholic Brotherhoods of Ronda host their own processions, and most pass through Plaza del Socorro to receive blessings from senior priests in Ronda.

Also in 2010, the new Museum of the Fraternities will open in the old court building on Calle Armiñan, thus making 2010 an important year for Semana Santa festivities in Ronda. The Holy Week festivities in Ronda are amongst the most important in Andalucía, so the museum has been described by Luis Candelas, president of the Association of Fraternities and Brotherhoods as a welcome addition to Ronda’s initiatives.