Seville, Málaga, Zamora and León hold elaborate processions for Holy Week. A tradition that dates from medieval times which has spread to other cities in Andalusia.
The "Semana Santa en Sevilla" is notable for featuring the procession of "pasos", lifelike wood or plaster sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between Jesus' arrest and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary showing grief for the torture and killing of her son. In Málaga the lifelike wooden or plaster sculptures are called "tronos" and they are carried through the streets by penitents dressed in long purple robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying candles for up to 11 hours.
These pasos and tronos are physically carried on the necks of costaleros (literally "sack men", because of the costal, a sack-like cloth that they wear over their neck, to soften the burden) or "braceros" (this name is popular in Leon), and can weigh up to five metric tonnes. The pasos are set up and maintained by hermandades and cofradías, religious brotherhoods that are common to a specific area of the city, whose precede the paso dressed in Roman military costumes or penitential robes.
Those members who wish to do so wear these penitential robes with conical hats, or capirotes, used to conceal the face of the wearer. These "Nazarenos" or "Papones" (this word it´s typical from Leon) carry processional candles, may walk the city streets barefoot, and may carry shackles and chains in their feet as penance.
A brass band, marching band, a drum and bugle band, or in Málaga's case a military band (such as that of the Spanish Legion or other military units) may accompany the group, playing funeral marches, religious hymns or "marchas" written for the occasion.
Processions in Granada.
The Granadinos take their Holy Week very seriously, and the Granada processions are quite spectacular. If you've never seen a Holy Week procession before, it can be quite breath-taking. Each hermandad (literally "brotherhood") has their own procession and is understandably extremely proud of their figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Everyone is involved and a lot of time and effort is spent making the figures as beautiful as possible.
It is hard to choose between the different processions, but perhaps the favourite two are the "Silent Procession" on Thursday (when the street lights along the route are turned off and the procession takes place in absolute silence) and the "Gypsy Procession" on Wednesday (which goes through the Albaicín/Sacromonte quarter). During the Gypsy Procession, bonfires are lit along the route and stops are made every so often for "saetas" (traditional songs to Jesus or the Virgin) to be sung.