Four Easter scenes

Passion plays are certainly one of the best-known cultural happenings that take place in the regions of Barcelona over Easter, but there are plenty of other fascinating traditional cultural events worth discovering as well: dances, choral performances and theatre pieces depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here’s a selection of some of the most representative events.

1. Auto Sagramental in Sant Vicenç dels Horts

We all know that passion plays are impressive performances that should be on everybody’s list of things to see. Meanwhile, autos sagramentals (theatrical representations of the mystery of the Eucharist) are much less well known despite the fact that they enjoy a longer history and are one of the jewels of traditional religious culture. Fortunately, in Sant Vicenç dels Horts we have the chance to remedy our ignorance of this tradition, since a very ancient auto sagramental is performed in the parish church on the Tuesday of Easter week and on Good Friday. Some sources date it as far back as 1564. Twelve scenes from the life of Jesus are depicted in a highly emotive performance featuring speeches, psalms and polyphonic choral singing... Truly unmissable!


2. Dance of Death in Manresa

One of the few danses macabres still performed at Easter in Catalonia takes place in Manresa. It’s called the Dance of Death and is a representation through the medium of dance of the final moments in the life of Jesus. This mediaeval dance is always performed by the members of the Pas de la Bona Mort troupe during the Good Friday procession, under the light of the full moon. It’s quite an experience! 


3. Moixiganga Dance in Castellterçol

Another dance is also the most important Easter event in Castellterçol. The Moixiganga Dance is performed in the Plaça Vella in the evening of Easter Saturday and consists of a series of formations that represent the Stations of the Cross. In total silence and with the darkness pierced only by the light of the candles held by local residents, you’ll have trouble finding a more atmospheric Easter dance.


4. Angel Song in Calella

The Angel Song of Calella is a very special tradition that takes place in the Plaça de l’Ajuntament at midday on Easter Sunday. It’s special because it’s unique; Calella is one of the few remaining Catalan towns where the song of an angel announces the Resurrection of Jesus to the people at morning Mass instead of worshippers reciting the Angelus. It’s special because it’s tender, since the angel is always a local boy or girl who enjoys singing. And it’s special because it’s magical, since the sublime sound of an organ accompanies the voice of the winged child.

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