Antonio Banderas and Nicole Kimpel During Holy Week 2016 in Málaga25-03-2016
Antonio Banderas and Nicole Kimpel attended the processions during Holy Week in Málaga, Spain, on March 22, 2016.
Spanish star Antonio Banderas has returned to his home city to celebrate Holy Week and join the Catholic processions in the lead-up to Easter.
The Hollywood star now lives in Los Angeles but tries to return home to Málaga each year for the most important festival in the Catholic calendar.
Banderas likes to return to his church brotherhood Tears and Favours to take part in the traditional marches that take place throughout Spanish towns and cities to mark Holy Week.
He was pictured taking photos with his fellow penitents before the start of the Sunday Palm procession of Saint Mary of Tears and Favours in Malaga.
The haunting processions take place each Easter in Spain, with penitents wearing gowns and conical hoods -- a tradition that was meant to maintain their anonymity -- as they carry life-size effigies of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary through city streets accompanied by dramatic drum beats and mournful music.
While Málaga is a popular city to watch the processions -- particularly due to its famous star -- by far the most visited city for the Catholic celebration is Seville, in Andalucia, where the medieval centre is packed out with faithful penitents from different church brotherhoods.
Tourists line the streets as scheduled processions weave their way through the city from early morning until late at night.
Each cofradia (brotherhood) is represented with different coloured robes, and the masks were historically to provide anonymity for those looking to pay penance.
Despite soaring temperatures -- particularly in southern Spain -- the faithful struggle under their heavy costumes, swaying as they carry huge floats between them and sometimes even walking barefoot.
There are more than 50 church brotherhoods in Seville, some dating as far back as the 13th century, and each procession carries a statue of Christ, depicted from varying Bible scenes. The Virgin Mary is also always pictured in mourning for her son.
While some processions are noisy affairs, with bands accompanying the penitents, one of the most famous is El Silencio, which is conducted without any musical accompaniment.
Up to a million visitors head to Seville for Holy Week (known as Semana Santa in Spanish), collecting programmes of the varying processions and following them through the city.
While Seville is the most famous place to visit in Spain, it is followed closely by Málaga and Toledo.
In Latin America, where the Catholic processions are also an important festival on the calendar, the most famous city to witness colourful processions is Antigua, the colonial city and former capital of Guatemala.
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