“Holy Week” Traditions In Spain
Yesterday Madrid Mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, was at the Almudena Cathedral for the Palm Sunday Mass and celebration marking the beginning of the Easter week.
The “Holy Week” in Madrid and the rest of Spain is deeply embedded in society and celebrated in public displays of adoration – often related to the need for people to demonstrate their faith in a public forum – and not always for the holiest of reasons!
Drinking & bar hopping procession
The town of Bierzo in León is better known for its excellent red wine. However during Easter its dark past comes to the fore as cries of “let’s go kill the Jews” – “salir a matar Judíos” – as they knock back glasses of special wine-lemonade.
There are various theories as to how this came about, but the common story for how this tradition started is that back in the 14th century, a nobleman named Suero de Quiñones owed money to a Jewish lender.
But as was common, instead of paying it off, he rallied the townspeople against the Jews, saying that they had killed Jesus. Between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, Quiñones and his supporters stormed the Jewish quarter and killed many people, including the money lender in question.
To celebrate the massacre, Quiñones and his group drank wine, beginning the start of the tradition that still exists today in the name of the Holy Week drink.