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Glossary for Semana Santa

Members of the Cofradías carrying the floats through the streets.
Members of the Cofradías carrying the floats through the streets.

Glossary of Holy Week terms

Capa - The cape worn in Holy Week processions..

Capirote - the cone-shaped head dress worn in Holy Week processions.

Capuz - the part of the head dress that covers the face of 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" who carry the floats through the streets.

Faja - a type of belt that float bearers wear in order to protect their backs as they carry the heavy Holy Week floats through the streets.

Imagen - life size representations of Jesús and Mary that are paraded through the streets.

Pasos - The actual processions that parade through the streets of towns and cities throughout the country.

Penitente - also called a "Nazareno". These participants are traditionally supposed to be doing public penance.

Pregón - speeches given throughout Holy Week and also at different points during the year.

Pregonero - a person who delivers a "pregón" speech.

Procesión - the parades of "pasos" (see definitions) that make their way through the streets in Holy Week.

Saeta - soulful, throaty, passionate songs sung acapella in the streets during Holy Week.

Túnica - the robe that Nazarenos wear under their capes.



Watch a Semana Santa procession


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