Setmana Santa

Activity dates

Dates de celebració

Holy Week takes place between the months of March and April. Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon in spring

Setmana Santa, or Holy Week, consists of a series of religious celebrations in the last week of Lent, between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The feast days commemorate the last moments in the life of Jesus: Palm Sunday celebrates his entry into Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday is the day of the Last Supper, Good Friday recalls the Crucifixion, Easter Saturday is the day of mourning and, finally, Easter Sunday celebrates his resurrection.

Although these feast days are based on liturgical rituals, they are also occasions for family gatherings with big meals and typical presents, such as palms and Easter cakes, mones in Catalan.

To mark this religious festival, Barcelona also holds processions that stage moments in the life of Christ, copied, in part, from Andalusian customs.


Holy Week is the Christian festival that recalls Christ's last moments on Earth: the passion, his death and resurrection. In other words, from the moment he arrives in Jerusalem and is pronounced the Saviour until he is brought back to life, following his trial, death and burial.


In 325 AD the Council of Nicaea set the date for Easter in the whole of the Western Catholic world. Since then, each country has developed its own celebrations, based on the Gospels Despite all the variations and differences in local customs, the main aim is to celebrate or commemorate the Messiah's passion, death and resurrection.

About festivities


Fair and blessing of the palms. There is a fair on the Rambla de Catalunya where you can find woven palm leaves (palmes), palm branches (palmons) and laurel branches, presents that godparents give to their godchildren who take them to church to be blessed. Once they have been blessed, they are hung from balconies because it is thought they bring good luck and protect against evil spirits.

The palm tradition stems from the way the Jews received Jesus when he returned to Jerusalem and proclaimed him their Saviour, by raising palm leaves, laurel branches and olive branches to express their joy to the Son of God.

Interesting features

Interesting features

Mona de Pasqua - Easter Cake. For centuries it was the custom of pastry makers to make sweets with inlaid hard-boiled eggs, which godparents used to give their godchildren on Easter Sunday. Gradually these eggs came to be made of chocolate, and their number depended on the age of the child. These days, though, the mona has become a chocolate cake with a figure that comes in many shapes and colours, ranging from the traditional eggs to cartoon characters, animals, football players and so on.

Supplementary information