Semana Santa is Holy Week in Spain. Seville hosts the most remarkable processions of extravagant floats and masked Nazarenos. Candelit floats illustrate the Easter story followed by the Nazarenos who are the penitents showing their sorrow and regret for their wrongs. Semana Santa also marks the beginning of spring so the celebrations expand throughout the city to restaurants and bars.
Just south of Palermo, The devil “Abbullu de Daivuli” is represented by locals running around with red robes and scary masks. They run around on Easter Sunday to trap as many souls as possible by getting them to buy drinks until the afternoon when the Christ is resurrected and the devils are defeated.
Holiday Traditions Around the World: Christmas in France
Christmas in France is both a religious and secular holiday as it is in most modern countries. In French, Christmas = Noël and is a reference to the Gospel. It comes from the French phrase “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”. L’Avent en France (Advent) commences the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Although the Christmas tree is not so popular, homes all throughout France display the Nativity scene “la crèche”. The creche is often coupled with figures called little saints or “santons” which represent the Holy Family, shepherds, Magi as well as local dignitaries and people in the community. The craftsmanship and molds utilized to create the santons have been passed down from generation to generation since the seventeenth century. Puppet shows leading up to Christmas are well attended particularly in Paris and Lyon. One of the most famous Christmas puppet plays is Bethlemen 1933 and is considered a masterpiece.