EASTER WEEK in Alcalá la Real has its own special, unique atmosphere. Master image makers, Pablo de Rojas and Juan Martínez Montañés, both hail from Alcalá la Real, although none of their works have remained in the town.
There are two types of processions during Easter Week: pasos mímicos in the form of living dioramas and proclamations and pasos de andas, where the images of Christ or the Virgin Mary are carried on a oat . The pasos mímicos are a combination of two traditions: the autos sacramentales or mystery plays that are acted out and the ingenios, festive religious representations of biblical episodes and Christ’s life, Passion and death.
The town criers, dressed in mourning, play an important role in these pasos mímicos and declaim compositions which mix poetry and prose, each with their own individual musical feel and intonation. The streets and plazas throughout the town become the backdrop for these performances, which were once a way of disseminating the Catholic doctrine.
Nowadays, only the brotherhoods Ecce Homo y Jesús en la Columna and Apóstoles y Discípulos de Jesús continue to practice these traditions in Alcalá la Real. Other interesting celebrations in Alcalá la Real are: LA CANDELARIA, where two pigeons are dressed up and presented to the Virgen de las Mercedes along with a a cake; EL DÍA DE LA CRUZ; and the colourful CORPUS CHRISTI celebration.