Semana Santa

Holy Week in Braga

by Tom Szustek

Celebrations of the Holy Week (Semana Santa) in Braga, north Portugal have a long tradition rooted in medieval times.

Among many events, the most famous is Ecce Homo Procession. Organized by the Brotherhood of the Misericordia, re-enacts the trial of Jesus. The procession is led by a group of barefooted, hooded “farricocos”- representing the guards who arrested Jesus. The colourfully decorated streets are lined with spectators.

Procession of Our Lord’s Funeral is held on Good Friday evening. The coffin is carried across the narrow streets of the town accompanied by the members of church-run organisations.

On Easter Sunday morning, when churches’ bells together with fireworks sound through the air, the people of Braga adorn their homes’ thresholds with flower carpets. This is a sign of invitation for groups of “Compasso”- locals walking along the streets with a cross, visiting homes and announcing all the Resurrection of Christ.