Spanish Holidays: Easter
Easter may not actually be here yet, but talk has already begun about the upcoming holiday week. Here in Madrid there are a number of religious processions, sort of like parades, that take place from the Sunday before Easter to the Sunday of. This entire week is known as the Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Shops and businesses don't close for the entire week, but they do observe a four-day weekend leading up to Easter (there are a number of other holidays that culminate in four-day weekends; the Spanish refer to these weekends as "puentes," or bridges). Aside from the processions, however, Easter isn't a particularly big deal in Spain, especially among those who are less than religious. Rarely will anyone wish you "Feliz Pascua," and while many families still gather for dinner, it's generally a very low-key event. Granted, the story may be different elsewhere in Spain; these are simply my observations from Madrid.