Official Portal of Tourism. Junta de Castilla y Leon
The tradition back to the 16th century
Holy Week in León
The tradition of this festival dates back to the 16th century, and combines religious devotion with art in equal quantities. The art is obvious in the unique floats that take part in the processions; designed and constructed in the workshops of well-known designers such as Juan de Juni, Gregorio Fernández, Luis Salvador Carmona, Víctor de los Ríos and Francisco Díez de Tudanca, among others. The religious devotion is demonstrated by the sixteen fraternities and Brotherhoods, their members, locally called papones.
The festivities go on for ten days, starting with the emotional procession carrying the ancient image of the Virgen del Camino, known locally as la del Mercado (she of the market) on the afternoon of Viernes de Dolores (The Friday of Pain), and finishing with the releasing of doves on the morning of Domingo de Resurrección (Resurrection Sunday) in the cathedral square. The sixteen fraternities and penitential brotherhoods organise some thirty processions, a hundred parades with spectacular sculpted saintly images born on the shoulders of the brothers, processions of the Vía Crucis (the Way of the Cross), parades of lyrical worship, concerts and proclamations. All going on in the middle of the major celebrations.
On Maundy Thursday at exactly midnight, the brothers of Jesús Nazareno (Jesus of Nazareth), lead by their abbot and the association of la Junta de Seises, go with those that form "La Ronda" to proceed through the streets of the city during the whole night and announce the Procesión de los Pasos before the authorities.
The silence of the León night is broken by the call of bells, bugle and drums, which is answered by one of the brothers with: "Levantaos hermanitos de Jesús, que ya es hora" ("Rise, brothers of Jesus, the hour is nigh").
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- Holy Week
León. 24001 León.