On the El País web forum in which I also participate, this is already the second year that web guru and olive planter porrozillo has published the photos of the Holy Week processions in Úbeda. This year he only sent a short video, but it reminded me to publish here the photos of the previous year to demonstrate that there are places where they still do it properly.
The Andalusian Úbeda, on Unesco’s World Heritage list, is famous for its olive plantations and its Holy Week processions. These latter have been organized by the city’s eighteen religious confraternities active since the Middle Ages. The ceremonies start already at the beginning of Lent with posters, advertisements and publications, daily festive Stations of the Cross, pageants presenting the holy images and statues with the partecipation of thousands of persons, as well as public rehearsals of the bands on the main square. The common blog of the confraternities publishes illustrated daily reports on all that. By the way, the series of Lenten and Holy Week feasts is only the biggest among the ten similarly generous feasts organized throughout the year by the confraternities, and in addition there are also yearly four flamenco and old music festivals in the city. After all, one has to fill out with something the dead time between the pruning of the olives and the harvest.
The Holy Week ceremonies start on Palm Sunday with the entrance of Christ in Jerusalem. This is organized by the Borriquillo (Ass’s colt) confraternity from eleven in the morning until the fireworks of nine in the evening.
On Monday the confraternity of Our Lady brings forward with all solemnity the statue of the Virgin from the church of Santa María de los Reales Alcázares, so that she would also start her all week long way to the Golgota, accompanying the image of Jesus in every other procession.
On Tuesday night from ten o’clock celebrations of Tenebrae, and then a night procession with the Cross throughout all the city.
The Wednesday procession on the vigil of the Last Supper was washed out by a downpour, but the commemoration was nevertheless celebrated.
On Thursday morning, prayer on the Mount of Olives.
Then a series of processions follow throughout all the day, each celebrated by a different confraternity: that of the Column, of the Flagellation, and, already at the dawn of Friday, the Sentence.
On Friday, at sunrise starts the procession of the Road to the Calvary, organized by the Jesus Nazareno confraternity of the guild of the oil pressers since the 1400s. The commemoration of each of the three Falls under the Cross are taken over from them by other processions. At three o’clock in the afternoon starts the procession of the Death on the Cross.
After the procession of the Descent from the Cross, at seven o’clock in the evening starts that of the Vigil or of the Pietà. This is the largest one among all, organized with the participation of all confraternities, twenty processions with forty-nine images all in all.
Finally, the series of Holy Week commemorations is closed on Sunday morning with the High Mass and the procession of the Resurrection.
If you are curious of videos and more photos, have a look at the blog of the Úbeda confraternities, where you can also read the reportages on the Holy Week of this year.