It’s only a short while until the clubs of Ibiza open their doors, with hedonistic parties that are written about a lot. But, before the island changes into some sort of Sodom and Gomorrah, there will first be another very important celebration: Easter. Semana Santa (Holy Week) on Ibiza is an experience you will never forget. If you like a bit of drama, or are curious about the real traditions of Ibiza, then you should really be in Santa Eulària or Ibiza Town in the last weekend of March.
Devout Catholics venerate their saints by carrying holy statues on decorated poles. On Maundy Thursday evening (Jueves Santa), all statues are carried from the churches in Ibiza up to the cathedral in the old town, so they can “sleep” there, to be brought down again on Friday evening (Viernes Santo). A religious spectacle which lasts a few hours. Because of the pace of walking and the drums, it looks a bit like a funeral procession. The carriers walk barefoot and hide their faces under high, pointed hoods with holes cut out for their eyes. The bare feet and these outfits are the penance for the suffering of Christ and of Mary. But we think the robes look a bit like the Ku Klux Klan.
The closing day, Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), is a lot more festive! This is when the resurrection of Christ is celebrated. This Sunday is a special holiday for the village of ‘Jesús‘, when families sit together to braid artworks from freshly cut palm leaves.
If you would like to see a different type of Ibiza, and you are on the island, take this opportunity and experience Semana Santa with the local people.
Note: Semana Santa starts already on the Thursday, and Easter Monday is not celebrated on Ibiza.
Photo’s thanks to Dutch Duo Wildlife.