Easter traditions in Sitges
The beginning of the Easter week (Semana Santa) in Sitges signifies the start of spring. It is also the beginning of the first major holiday of the year and many people take the opportunity to escape from work for a couple of days. Thousands of visitors from all regions of Spain and Europe flock to Sitges every year.
After several month of tranquillity during the winter season, Sitges moves back into its typical summer rhythm. The hectic nightlife starts up again and the sandy beaches of Sitges begin to fill up.
The Easter week starts with Palm Sunday. Children receive decorated palm leaves from their Godparents as a gift, an acient custom in Catalunya. Another typical Catalan habit is making gifts in the form of chocolate and cakes. The prize chocolate cake is called “Mona”and is usually covered with different chocolate figures, chocolate eggs and iced sugar. This cake can be found in patisseries all over Sitges.
On Good Friday, which symbols the death of Jesus Christ, an old tradition is to stay off of meat and only eat fish. Fasting pains can be easily staved off by trying some of the typical bacalao (cod) dishes, which are served in a variety of ways – salted, for example, or with chickpeas.
On Palm Sunday, palm and laurel branches are blessed at around 12:00 in front of the City hall (Ayuntamento) and the church of Sant Joan. An impressive Good Friday procession starts at 22:00, heading down from the Baluard and continuing to the following streets: Plaza de Ayuntamento, Calle Mayot, Cap de la Vila, Calle Santiago Rusiñol, Calle Jesus, Calle Sant Bartomeu, Calle Sant Gaudenci, Calle Sant Francesc, Cap de la Vila, before returning to the parish church.
Another famous Catalan custom during Easter week is singing traditional songs, or "caramelles" together.