Some of you may or may not know what Semana Santa or Fiestas de Primavera is, these are the easter and spring parties of the region of Murcia. If you have never seen these events, it is highly recommended as they truly are a spectacular sight for anyone wanting to experience the culture.
First of all, here is the calendar for Murcia city centre. There are more fiestas in Cartagena, which you can see here, but this post if just about Murcia.
14 de abril, Domingo de Ramos
15 de abril, Lunes Santo
16 de abril, Martes Santo
17 de abril, Miércoles Santo
18 de abril, Jueves Santo
19 de abril, Viernes Santo
20 de abril, Sábado Santo
21 de abril, Domingo de Resurrección
Each of these days there will be parades and possessions throughout the city, some in silence and some with music and bands playing in the street. If you would like to know where and when these are, click here.
Fiestas de Primavera
These are the spring parties located throughout the city of Murcia the following week of Easter week in Murcia.
Two of the biggest fiestas that you shouldn’t miss are Bando de la Huerta & Entierro de la Sardina.
On the 23rd of April, Murcia is shut down for one day and the only places that are open are bars and restaurants. Bando is basically a huge party, with over 750,000 people attending each year, its definitely something to check off your list. Participates dress up in the traditional clothes for Bando, which is a white shirt and a waistcoat over the top. Traditionally, they would have larger outfits with more layers and flowers for decoration. These are still worn, but mainly for the parades or people wanting to keep the tradition alive.
If you would like to dress up, the outfits are around €45 for the whole set, and they can be picked up from most large supermarkets in Murcia or you can go support the local shops where the prices will be around the same.
As mention before, the city does shut down, which means no one gets in or out of the centre by car. If you are looking to go, the best places to park are in the shopping centres at the top of Murcia and you can catch the tram into the city, or park in the suburban areas such as Ronda Sur or Barrio del Carmen and walk into the city which will take around 15-20 minutes.
Entierro de la Sardina.
On the 27th of April and the last day of the spring parties, the burning of the sardine takes place. This parade is to commemorate the harvest and the bountiful of food that has been given. So to celebrate, they have a large parade going through the streets with members of each floats passing (more like throwing) out toys, games and sweets to all the spectators. The end of the parade finishes by the town hall next to the river and the ceremony ends with a giant paper statue of a sardine being burned with a fireworks display being put on straight afterwards.
I have been many times, and the event keeps getting bigger and bigger, with news channels recording and putting out the burning live on channel 7 (Spanish TV). This is also a great event for families to go to, but it also attracts a lot of people, so again, if you wish to go, park sensibly in the suburbs and walk in.
For more information about the spring parties, click here