During the Holy Week celebrations, the city of Bilbao reveals its religious fervour with its busy processions. This year the celebrations started on 23rd March and finished on 1st April.
Holy Week in Bilbao in Bilbao is characterised by its seriousness and austerity. Thirteen processions march through the city’s streets during ten days. Each one of them has its own idiosyncrasy and varies depending on the neighborhood it departs from and on the fantastic floats it carries. In total, more than 3000 brotherhood members participate in this tradition.
History tells us that Bilbao’s processions date back to before the city was founded in the year 1300. As for the penitential processions they were also carried out before the Santa Vera Cruz Brotherhood was founded in 1554, when the City Council commissioned the organisation of the penitential processions that had been celebrated in the city.
Bilbao’s attractive Holy Week processions are therefore more than 464 years old.
Did you know? There are 9 Brotherhoods or “Cofradías” in Bilbao: La Santa Vera Cruz (1554) , La Pasión (1941), Nuestra Sra. de la Merced (1943), Madre de Dios de las Escuelas Pias (1944), Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno ( 1947), Nuestra Señora de Begoña (1947) , Apostol Santiago ( 1947), Santa Eucaristía (1959) , Cruzados Eucarísticos (1945).
Camino Society volunteer and Bilbao native Oihana Trojaola was in Bilbao for Holy Week and witnessed the best of the celebrations. Below are just a sample of the many photographs she took during her time there.
La Pasión Brotherhood, Holy Tuesday
Brotherhoods gathering for Holy Tuesday procession at San Nicolás de Bari church
Brotherhood playing drums, some walking barefoot for 3 to 4 hours.
Apostol Santiago Brotherhood, adult member leading children members to keep distance
Madre de Dios de las Escuelas Pias Brotherhood youngest members.
Nuestra Sra. de la Merced Brotherhood members playing trumpets
Nuestra Sra. de la Merced Brotherhood youngest members
Nuestra Sra. de la Merced Brotherhood gathering for Holy Friday Procession with float
For more information about Holy Week in Bilbao, please refer to www.bilbaoturismo.net. Many thanks to Oihana for her magnificent photographs!