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The Easter festivities in Spain hold a very special attraction, at least for those of us living here as ex-pats.

The Easter processions in Mallorca during Semana Santa are exceptional events with their solemnity, their colourful splendour and their sincere celebration of religious traditions. Semana Santa starts next Sunday, April 5th (Palm Sunday), culminating on Friday (Good Friday) and during the Easter weekend.

The processions are held by cofradías (religious fraternities or brotherhoods). In Palma alone, there are some 33 cofradías in existence, with the oldest one being over 100 years old, founded in 1902. One cofradía actually celebrates their 75th anniversary this year, the Confraria Juventut Oratoriana de Sant Felip Nerí, founded in 1934.

Each year, the Associació de Confraries de Setmana Santa (Palma) organises a schedule of Easter activities (processions and concerts), starting this year on Sunday, April 5th. All activities are published in a colour brochure called Setmana Santa 2009. Palma’s first procession (on Sunday) is called Entrada de Jesús en Jerusalem, and all 33 cofradías will participate. This procession starts at 18h00 from the church of Sant Jaume and will wind its way along Es Born and Jaume III to Carrer Bonaire and Carrer Concepció. Throughout the week, there will be 14 more processions in Palma, each of them with an individual theme and with different cofradías participating in various configurations.

Of course, all towns and pueblos in Mallorca also have their own cofradías and their own programme of processions. I would in particular point out Easter festivities in Felanitx, Sóller, Inca and Pollença. It would be best to check for programme details locally.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: April 1st, 2009. The time was 13:10:21.

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