Glossary of Holy Week terms
Canasta - wooden base structure of float
Capa - The cape worn in Holy Week processions.
Capataz - the man who directs the costaleros
Capirote - the cone-shaped head dress worn in Holy Week processions.
Capuz - the hood part of the head dress worn by those participating in Holy Week processions.
Cofradías - Catholic groups dedicated to religious training, worship and charity that focus on penitence and show their penitence publicly during Semana Santa processions as they carry floats through the streets.
Costaleros - members of cofradías/hermandades who carry the floats through the streets.
Cruz de Guía - the cross that marks the start of the procession
El Cautivo - Statue of Christ with his hands tied, after being arrested
Estandarte - embroidered standard or banner carried in the procession, usually near the start but also at other points, bearing the insignia of the hermandad
Faja - a type of corset that float bearers wear in order to protect their backs as they carry the heavy Holy Week floats through the streets.
Hermandad - brotherhood, parish church association. Organises the Semana Santa procession.
Hermano - member of hermandad (brotherhood)
Hermano mayor - most senior member of the brotherhood
Imagen - life-size representations of Jesús and Mary that are paraded through the streets. Works of art carved from wood by master craftsmen
Llamador - the hammer used by the capataz to knock on the paso and indicate that it should be lifted up by the costaleros
Madrugá[da] - night of Holy Thursday/early morning of Holy Friday, a special night in many cities, when the most revered pasos come out, for example in Seville.
Manola - Lady wearing a black mantilla (long lace veil), black dress and crucifix necklace, black gloves and shoes, and carrying a rosary.
Manta - velvet embroidered cape worn by the Virgin figure. The embroidery is all done by hand, using real gold and silver thread
Misterio - tableau of various figures (Jesus, Roman soldiers, Pontius Pilate) on a paso
Monaguillo (meaning small monk) - altar boy or girl - may carry silver staffs, lanterns or incense-holders near the front of the procession
Nazareno - hermano (member of brotherhood association) who walks in the procession, wears a long tunic, robe and cone-shaped pointed hood with eye-holes
Palio - embroidered canopy supported by pillars on top of the paso (see Manta)
Pasos- elaborately-decorated float that carries the statues of Jesus or the Virgin Mary, and sometimes other figures too
Penitente - hermano who carries a wooden cross, sometimes barefoot, as an act of penitence
Pregón - speech given throughout Holy Week and also at different points during the year
Pregonero - a person who delivers a pregón
Procesión - the parades of pasos (see definitions) that make their way through the streets in Holy Week
Saeta - soulful, flamenco-influenced songs performed by solo singers, often from balconies, addressed to the Virgin or Jesus during processions
Túnica - the robe that Nazarenos wear under their capes.
|Members of the Cofradías carrying the floats through the streets.|
Semana Santa dates
Semand Santa dates for the next few years are in the info box on our Semana Santa home page