Vélez Málaga Easter, declared a Festivity of National Tourist interest, is without a doubt, the most rooted and followed tradition in our city as there are hundreds of Velez residents that are part of the different brotherhoods, and many thousands more that directly participate in the processions whether as penitents, promise keepers, music bands, etc. or simply as spectators of the 18 Passion Brotherhoods’ Processions that do their penance from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday.
These days, the thousands and thousands of Axarquia residents and tourists that come to our land in search of Torre del Mar nearby beaches, participate as spectators in the most spectacular celebration in Axarquía.
This centennial tradition is deeply rooted among Velez residents who pass their devotion to the Brotherhoods’ Sacred figures from generation to generation. There is evidence that the first processions and existence of Brotherhoods date back to early XVI century.
The processions start on Palm Sunday evening with the procession of Pollinica and Virgen del Rocío’s Brotherhood which bring together large number of children with colourful tunics.
Holy Tuesday evening, our Father Jesus “Ecce-Homo” and Holy Mary of Sorrow, two different brotherhoods’ main figures, parade through Velez streets, meeting in a spectacular way in Paseo Nuevo.
Holy Wednesday starts with the Brotherhood of Jesus of Judgment (Cofradía de Jesús de la Sentencia) that this year has the privilege of releasing an inmate. It is followed by Jesus praying in the vegetable garden and Holy Mary of the Helpless (María Santísima de los Desamparados), both ancient images saved from the Civil War destruction. The night ends with Medinaceli Captive Jesus and St. Mary Magdalene.
Holy Thursday starts with Jesus tied to a Column, a popular Students’ Brotherhood, followed by Jesus of Humility whose XVIII century tunic is richly broidered in gold, and Holy Mary of Peace (María Santísima de la Paz), followed by Jesus the rich Nazarene (Jesús Nazareno el Rico) and Holy Mary of Piety (María Santísima de la Piedad) who both are worshipped in a beautiful vestuary in Calle de la Tiendas. Jesús del Gran Poder in his third fall (unique image beause of its iconography) and the Virgin of Bitterness (Virgen de la Amargura) give way to Jesus “the Poor” (Jesús el Pobre) and Holy Mary of Hope (María Santísima de la Esperanza), images that star in the blessing that the Nazarene offers his mother and the people gathered in Plaza de la Carmelitas.
Holy Friday night starts with the luxurious processions of el Santísimo Cristo de los Vigías from the XVI century, followed by the overwhelming sculptural piece el Sagrado Descendimiento (Sacred Descent) with the images of Cristo del Amor (Christ of Love) and Virgen de la Caridad (the Virgin of Charity) among others, marching in thirdly Misterio del Calvario (Calvary Mystery) consisting of Cristo del Mar, Virgen de la Penas, San Juan Evangelista and Santa María Magdalena. María Santísima de las Angustias that carries in her arms her dead son. The procession is accompanied by the Spanish Legion.
The Holy Sepulchre, popularly known as “el Joyero” (Jeweller) because of the beauty of his throne, will close the night.
On Holy Saturday morning, the Virgin of Solitude comes out in semi-darkness accompanied only by the penitents’ candles as the streets lights are switched off as this worshipped image goes by.
The Processions have their climax in the morning of Resurrection Sunday when Resurrected Jesus parades through the streets accompanied by a representation of all the Brotherhoods that have paraded in the previous days.
The Brotherhood Museum which will be located inside the Santa María de la Concepción Temple and has been promoted by Velez Malaga Town Hall, offers visitors a broad view of the meaning and significance of this beautiful Velez tradition.