Balmaseda's Way of Sorrows

Passion during Holy Week in Bizkaia

Location Balmaseda, Berango, Bermeo, Bilbao, Durango, Markina-Xemein, Orduña, Zaratamo, Markina-Xemein, Urduña/Orduña, Balmaseda, Durango, Bilbao, Zaratamo, Berango, Bermeo

22 March
7 April

Holy Week is the Christian holidays from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday, although these days also include the previous Friday and Saturday -Holy Friday and Holy Saturday. These days, Bizkaia focuses on Balmaseda and Bilbao, since the celebrations are very spectacular in both cities. Every year masses of visitors meet up in Balmaseda's Way of Sorrows. Different scenes from the life of Jesus performed on Maundy Thursday and Holy Friday attract the tourists. For months, Balmaseda inhabitants have been rehearsaling to show realism during the acts that are accompanied by processions and chants. Twelve processions follow each other for nine days to complete an austere Holy Week. Over three thousand members of religious brotherhoods participate in all the processions. From Holy Friday to Holy Saturday, they accompany "Pasos" or statues of great artistic value. The Penitents' Procession is outstanding. It marches through the neighbourhood of San Francisco, where Flamenco verses (Saetas) are sung and the Silent Procession takes place early morning through the Old Town of Bilbao. Christ's martyrdom is also performed in Bermeo, Orduña, Durango, Berango, Markina-Xemein and Arkotxa neighbourhood in Zaratamo.

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