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Holy Week 2024 in Asturias: Between sea and mountains

Holy Week 2024 in Asturias: Between sea and mountains

Looking for the perfect destination to enjoy Holy Week 2024?

CoolRooms Hotels, which has hotels in historical, urban and natural environments, offers alternatives for Holy Week, adapted to all your needs.

Every year, between March and April, Holy Week, one of the most traditional festivities in our country, is celebrated with great emotion. During these days, Spain is transformed. You will discover images of great artistic richness walking the streets by candlelight, among the colors of the flowers, the art of religious sculptures and the sound of the music of the drums.

CoolRooms Palacio de Luces invites you to enter the magical scenery of Holy Week in Asturias, where spirituality merges with cultural and gastronomic richness. From the processions that run through picturesque villages to the rituals that have endured for generations, you will discover the soul of a region that finds in this celebration an authentic expression of identity and community.

A bit of history

Holy Week in Asturias has its roots in the 16th century, influenced by the Council of Trent, which marked significant changes in the Catholic Church. The rise of the Brotherhoods in the same century came to Asturias, with the Brotherhood of Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno established in Oviedo/Uviéu in 1622 and the Royal Brotherhood in Luarca/Ḷḷuarca in 1682.

The Baroque in the 17th century was crucial for the development of Holy Week in Asturias. Throughout the following centuries, the celebration experienced periods of splendor linked to the political situation in Spain. In the 20th century, the brotherhoods resurfaced in the 1940s, declined in the 1960s and revived in the 1980s and 1990s, giving rise to a vibrant Semana Santa today. This celebration fuses religious and cultural traditions, being a unique expression of the Asturian identity, where devotion and culture are intertwined in an incomparable way.

Curiosities of the unique Holy Week

Palm Sunday premiere: The tradition of premiering some article of clothing on Palm Sunday is deeply rooted in Asturias. According to popular belief, whoever does not wear a new garment on this day “has neither hands nor feet”.

Palms and Gifts: On Palm Sunday, godchildren bring palms to their godparents, who hang them on their balconies or keep them until next year. At the end of Holy Week, godparents usually give gifts to their godchildren, being the traditional cakes and chocolate figures, with designs that vary according to fashion.

Colorful Showcases: Confectioneries display masterpieces by master chocolatiers inspired by monuments and characters, creating colorful and tasty showcases that enhance gastronomic creativity.

Diversity of Easter “bollos de Pascua”: Each municipality in Asturias has its own traditional elaboration of Easter “bollos de Pascua”. Of particular note are the Roscón de Pascón de las cuencas mineras, filled with almonds and meringue, and the Mantecado de Avilés, a typical dessert delivered by godfathers and godmothers.

Roscones from Pastelería Asturias                                                            Mantecado de Avilés. ©Mampiris

Cakes, Torrijas and Casadiellas: Confectioneries offer a variety of tarts, while torrijas, pestiños and casadiellas are headline sweets during Easter. The casadiellas, very Asturian, are especially popular and are consumed all year round in various celebrations.

Pestiños                                                                                                          Casadiellas

Special Lemonade: Some brotherhoods accompany the sweets with a special lemonade, made with lemon juice, liqueurs, cinnamon and sugar, providing a refreshing and unique experience during the Holy Week celebrations.

These gastronomic curiosities add a festive and tasty touch to Holy Week in Asturias, where traditions are intertwined with the culinary richness of the region.

The most special processions in Asturias

Holy Week of Avilés: Festival of Regional Tourist Interest

Holy Week in Avilés is a unique experience, declared a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest since 2003. From Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday, the city is filled with processions that stand out for their history and quality. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are especially outstanding, with processions such as the Silence, the Kiss of Judas, the Holy Burial or the Virgin of Solitude. Program, schedules and itineraries of the Holy Week of Avilés 2024.

Nazarene Procession in Luarca: Holy Thursday

The Procession of the Good Jesus of Nazareth in Luarca is an emotional tradition that takes place on Holy Thursday at half past nine in the evening. With deep roots among local families, this procession ascends from the fishing village to the chapel of the Atalaya, offering a unique experience in the Asturian Holy Week. Program, schedules and itineraries of the Holy Week of Luarca 2024.

Procession of the Holy Burial in Villaviciosa: Holy Friday

Villaviciosa offers two intense events during Holy Week: the sermon of the Desenclavo and the procession of the Holy Burial, both celebrated on Holy Friday. These celebrations, especially on Holy Friday, are significant, witnessing The Encounter and the Descent from the Cross, true sacramental autos sacramentales of great dramatic force. Program, schedules and itineraries of the Holy Week of Villaviciosa 2024.

Vía Crucis Viviente in Villanueva de Oscos: Holy Thursday

In Villanueva de Oscos, Holy Thursday comes alive with a Vía Crucis Viviente (Living Stations of the Cross), a popular theatrical representation of the Passion according to St. Mark. The local community is involved in this moving representation, offering a unique and moving experience. Program, schedules and itineraries of the Holy Week of Villanueva de Oscos 2024.

Procession of the Holy Burial in Oviedo: Good Friday

Oviedo presents a wide agenda of processions, among them the Procession of the Holy Burial that takes place on Holy Friday. Composed of four steps, this beautiful procession goes through the most beautiful corners of the city, providing a unique experience during Holy Week. Program, schedules and itineraries of the Holy Week of Oviedo 2024.

Procession of Jesus Cautivo in Oviedo

Other festivals of tourist interest in Asturias

Artisan and Ecological Market of Gijón (March 28th to 31st)

In the middle of Semana Santa, the Plaza Mayor of Gijón/Xixón is transformed into a fascinating stage with the Artisan and Ecological Market. This four-day event stands as the epicenter of Asturian art and gastronomy, showcasing the skills of local artisans and the exquisiteness of local products. From wool blankets to almond sweets, the market offers a sensory journey through the traditions of Asturias. More information.

Bollo Festival in Avilés (March 30th, 31st to April 01st)

At the end of Holy Week, Avilés hosts the Bollo Festival, declared of National Tourist Interest. Held on Palm Sunday and Easter Monday, this festival is a manifestation of coexistence and popular participation. The Plaza de Álvarez Acebal is filled with color with the traditional delivery of the “Bollo”, a buttered and frosted sponge cake. Godfathers and godmothers present their godchildren with this delicacy, marking the end of the Easter fast. Enjoy parades, music, folklore and fireworks during this event that celebrates the arrival of spring. More information.

Güevos Pintos Festival in Pola de Siero (April 2nd)

The Fiesta de los Güevos Pintos, declared of National Tourist Interest, brings Pola de Siero to life on the Tuesday following Easter Sunday. In this lively event, the market is filled with stalls with hand-painted eggs, displaying Asturian motifs and unique artistic expressions. The blessing of the eggs in the Town Hall square marks the beginning of a festive day with cider, local gastronomy and traditional music. Immerse yourself in the creativity and joy of this unique celebration. More information.

Image: Sociedad de Festejos de Pola de Siero

Alternative plans for Holy Week

Holy Week in Asturias offers you, in addition to the most typical processions and events of this time of the year, a lot of alternatives.

Delve into the Asturian heritage with the varied cultural proposals of the region. Museums and cultural spaces offer special programs during Holy Week. The Centro del Prerrománico in Oviedo, for example, organizes activities that will immerse you in the history and art of the region. The Ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime “Pepe el Ferreiro” not only hosts temporary exhibitions on rural knowledge, but also offers live demonstrations of traditional crafts, giving you a unique experience.

Centro del Prerrománico in Oviedo                                                   The Ethnographic Museum of Grandas de Salime “Pepe el Ferreiro”

If you are looking for a different perspective, take a guided tour of Laboral City of Culture. In addition to exploring this impressive building, you can enjoy splendid views from its observation deck.

La Laboral, that huge unfinished building resting on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea Alamy

For nature lovers, Holy Week is ideal for active tourism and rural tourism activities. Discover the beauty of Asturias through hiking trails, bike rides or even getaways to charming rural villages.

CoolRooms Palacio de Luces offers these types of exclusive experiences, immersing you in the lush nature of Asturias:

Horseback Riding Route: Explore Asturias from a unique perspective as you ride through picturesque landscapes. With a route of one or two hours in the beautiful landscapes of Argüero/Villaviciosa, adapted to all levels, discover the special connection formed between rider and horse.

Cycling with Ruth Moll Marqués: Join guided cycling routes adapted to your level, led by Ruth Moll Marqués, an experienced professional cyclist with more than 12 medals in Spanish championships and pre-selected in the 2000-2004 Olympic Games. Discover the beauty of Asturias on two wheels with the guidance of an expert.

Hiking in the Sierra del Sueve: Explore the eastern part of the Sierra del Sueve on foot, visiting emblematic places such as the Fito viewpoint, the Bustacu sheepfold and Pico Pienzu, the highest point in Spain in relation to the distance to the sea. Immerse yourself in the Biescona Beech Forest, a beech forest that rises above sea level in a unique location in Spain.

Lastres Guided Tour: Discover the unique architecture of the picturesque village of Lastres, with its architectural approach based on the needs of marine life. Explore inside the 18th century clock tower and learn about the fascinating history of this place declared one of the most beautiful villages in Spain in 2014.

Request your experience here.

If you are a food lover, do not miss the Taramundi Cheese Fair, scheduled for Holy Saturday (March 30, 2024 from 11:00 to 15:00 h.). A unique experience to taste delicious local cheeses and immerse yourself in the Asturian culinary tradition.

Explore, savor and enjoy a different Holy Week in Asturias, where the options are as varied as the richness of this beautiful Spanish region.

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