Holy Week in Antequera is one of the town's most important events from a religious and cultural perspective. This tradition is highly respected and is of huge significance among families, as each neighbourhood, each street and each family is linked to a temple. And nobody can escape this influence as the tradition is established from childhood.
Its processions have several unique features and they each have their own name. Many locals from Antequera walk alongside the statues wearing the Nazarene habit and carrying large candles and crosses, or behind the floats, known as tronos, as a type of pledge.
Unique features of Holy Week in Antequera
The floats are carried on the shoulders of the hermanacos, or bearers, who are characterised by their clothing and by the use of "forks" to support the float when it is not in motion. The Hermano Mayor de Insignia (chairman of the brotherhood) guides the hermanacos during the procession.
Another tradition linked to Holy Week in Antequera is known as 'binding', which is what the hermanacos do on the morning of the procession of their Virgin or Lord. They tie a cushion full of wool to the frame of the wooden float so that the weight is less painful during the procession.
The fact that this tradition is very much alive and is passed down from parent to child is reflected in one of the central figures of Passion Week in Antequera: the campanillero de lujo. This is a boy or girl of no more than 8 years old who takes on a special role within the processions. The child is usually from a family that belongs to the brotherhood and he or she wears a velvet robe, embroidered in gold with a long train. The campanilleros walk alongside the Hermano Mayor and their role is to ring a bell when the float is about to start moving or when it is already doing so.
Correr la Vega, an historic tradition
One unforgettable moment during Holy Week in Antequera is "Correr la Vega", which entails running up steep slopes with the floats of certain brotherhoods. Meanwhile, the crowd stands behind the float and shouts "a la vega a la vega" (to the plain, to the plain) to encourage the bearers. The reason behind this custom was to bless the fertile plains that were the town's main source of wealth at the time.
Another special moment is the meeting, when floats of the same or different brotherhoods meet face to face as a symbol of union and praise for the procession. The brotherhoods and fraternities have rich and formidable processional furnishings, which are particularly lavish for the processions held on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.