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Easter

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(March-April)

Spring starts with Easter. This long-standing and traditional religious festival is vibrant and colourful and the people of Totana expectantly await its coming and the opportunities it affords to don hoods and tunics and to take part in the processions or simply to watch their passing from squares and balconies. The bands of drums and horn players lend an air of solemnity to the occasion. Another special feature of Easter Week are the 'Armaos', a group formed in the eighteenth century by 'Don Alonso Ramón Cánovas'. This group was initially made up of eighteen men, all from important families of Totana, and they dressed according to the Roman fashion, and today this same group escorts the thrones of 'Nuestro Padre Jesús' (Jesus Our Father) and 'El Santo Sepulcro' (The Holy Tomb) in the procession which takes place on the night of Good Friday. Totana takes on an air of special beauty during these spring days and it makes a splendid setting for the numerous processions that take place during the week. A great many of the inhabitants of Totana take part in the Easter celebrations, there are sixteen brotherhoods, some of which date back to the eighteenth century, with more than 3000 members in all, of which 390 are female. These women belong to 'Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza' (Our Lady of Hope) and they take part in the Silent Procession on the Wednesday before Easter arrayed in the Español mantilla and scapular and they carry a rosary and a short staff.
Also dating back many years are the processions which take place on the Thursday before Easter and Good Friday. The brotherhoods carry adorned thrones and images such as that of 'Nuestra Señora de los Dolores' (Our Lady of Sorrow) which has a beautiful robe embroidered in gold and is accompanied by a marching band made up of violins, wind and percussion instruments. The standards, some of which are extremely old, are carried before the thrones and they lend a splash of colour to the proceedings. The festivities in Totana come to an end on Easter Sunday, with an emotive procession which depicts the Resurrection.
These festivals have been declared of 'Interés Turístico Regional' (of special interest to visitors to the region).

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