Madrid´s “holy week” is set with a return to pre-pandemic in-person events from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday (10 to 17 April), with tens of thousands of people expected to flock to the capital´s streets and watch the processions of devotees and penitents mark the cruxifiction of Jesus.
Madrid´s ancient brotherhoods or cofrades have been practicing the slow processions around the well-established routes from churches and basilicas all year round,.
Meanwhile the city´s taverns and restaurants have started preparing Easter favourites of Torrijas (Spain´s answer to French toast), Potaje de garbanzos a la Madrileña (chickpea stew, with spinach, cod, potatoes and hard-boiled egg), and Soldaditos de Pavía (crispy fried chunks of cod).
The cofrades accompanied by the many penitents who seek redemption carry religious icons of the Virgin Mary and Jesus in slow time, adorned with candles, flowers, and richly embroidered shawls to the sound of a slow drum beat.
They will be joined by the Catholic guilds or costaleros from different areas of Madrid who will be on processions throughout the historic heart of the city including the Calle Alcalá and the Plaza Mayor.
Among them are those of Nuestro Padre Jesús del Gran Poder and María Santísima de la Esperanza Macarena, which starts from the Royal San Isidro Collegiate Church (Calle Toledo) on the 14th at 7:45pm.
The Jesús el Pobre guild, will also hold their procession that day starting at 7pm from the San Pedro el Viejo Church ( Calle Nuncio); and the Santo Entierro guild which will set off from the Parish Santa Cruz ( Calle de Atocha) at on the 15th April at 8pm.
One of the most celebrated processions outside the city centre is the Divino Cautivo (14th, 7pm), which begins at the Calasanctian School ( Calle General Díaz Porlier) in the Barrio de Salamanca.
As well as the processions, Easter in Madrid always brings with it a packed cultural programme, and this year´s include the Organ Music Series at the San Ginés Church ( Calle del Arenal) and Stabat Mater by Luigi Boccherini on the 16th at the Condeduque Centre for Contemporary Culture ( Calle del Conde Duque).
On the 15th, María la Terremoto will sing a saeta during the procession of Jesús de Medinaceli (8.30pm).
On the 17th at noon, the Brotherhood of Jesús de la Soledad ante las Negaciones de San Pedro y San Lamberto will perform a tamborrada drum parade in Plaza Mayor to mark the end of the Eatser celebrations.