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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Spain & Portugal / April's Tag Game ~ Semana Santa ~ Easter in Spain
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    April's Tag Game ~ Semana Santa ~ Easter in Spain

    Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:13 pm
    Forum Host

    …………....................…………La Semana Santa

    Spain is home to a large population of Christians, and particularly Catholics, who observe Easter with a week-long celebration during la Semana Santa (Holy Week) that officially begins on el Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and ends with el Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday). It dates back to the 16th Century when the Church decided the best way to celebrate Easter is to present the story of the Passion of Christ in a way that most individuals could understand. And it was decided that the best way to do this would be a series of processionals that depict scenes from the story of the fall and rise again of Jesus. So today, in most regions of Spain, each day during Semana Santa (Holy Week) is marked with a spectacular, colorful street parade and other special events.

    ~ On el Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), people first attend mass in the morning carrying palm leaves as they enter the church (la iglesia). Then about midday, there is a street parade in which men (called los costaleros) wearing colorful robes will carry parade-like floats on their shoulders. These floats (los pasos or los tronos) are usually quite elaborately decorated with colorful flowers, beautiful fabrics, and gold and silver touches that reflect centuries-old traditions. The floats hold statues that represent part of the Easter story on it. Local citizens will follow behind the float, and everyone will sing a special Easter song called una saeta (which is sung without music) as the parade makes it way through the streets and on toward the church (la iglesia). In some regions, those following behind the floats will carry palm leaves and often wear veils to shield their face to encourage private reflection without concern about being identified. It is a special celebration and an honor to participate, so most everyone takes part.

    Each day of Semana Santa (Holy Week), similar activities are held in most regions of Spain which mark or celebrate a certain aspect of the Easter message. Most community events and public celebrations are held in the evening, with the exception of the street parade held on el Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), which is traditionally held mid-day.

    ~ El Domingo de Resurreccion (Easter Sunday) in most regions is celebrated with a special Easter Vigil mass. In some regions, the head coverings that had been worn throughout the week (to signify spiritual mourning of Jesus) are removed during this mass to mark the transition from mourning to the more joyous celebration of His resurrection. Another special ritual on Easter Sunday is that godfathers will present to their godchild a special cake (called la mona) that is beautifully decorated with colored feathers, chocolate figurines and candy. Following mass, there are many community and family gatherings held throughout Spain on Easter Sunday.

    Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday) is a leisure day in which most Spanish families will plan a picnic in a local park or a favorite spot in the countryside for a day of togetherness and outdoor feasting. Families like to bring their special una mona with them to their Easter picnic, which is why Easter Monday is often called el dia de la mona in many parts of Spain.

    With all of the special events that take place, Semana Santa is a particularly exciting time to visit Spain. And while most events of Semana Santa are quite spectacular and elaborate throughout all regions of Spain, Seville takes top honors in pomp and glory, though Andalusia and Malaga also host quite elaborate community events as well. But plan well in advance no matter where you visit Spain during Semana Santa, because most towns become overly-crowded, and reservations often must be made months (and sometimes years) in advance.

    During these events, appropriate Easter greetings can vary from region to region. But in general, for most regions an appropriate Easter greeting would be ‘Felices Pascuas’, or in some regions ‘Feliz Dia de Pascua’ would be the more traditional greeting.

    ………......…………La Comida (Easter Dishes in Spain)

    And, as is the case with many cultural celebrations, food figures prominently in many of the public celebrations and family gatherings held during Semana Santa. Most Spaniards adhere to a traditional custom of refraining from meat during this special time in preparation for Easter. So the menus during Semana Santa will primarily feature fish and vegetable dishes with a wide assortment of yeast breads and sweet rolls. And, of course, there is always an irresistible selection of delectable cakes, cookies and other sweet treats.

    And, after the observance of fasting and abstinence from meat during the period of Lent, it’s always a welcome tradition of serving lamb on el Domingo de Resurrecion (Easter Sunday) and el Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday). The well-known rice-based Spanish dish called Paella is also commonly served in many regions on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

    There are many similarities throughout Spain with regard to what traditional Easter dishes might be offered, though there are some region-specific offerings as well. Depending on the event and the region, specific dishes that might be enjoyed during Semana Santa include:

    Pan (yeast breads and sweet rolls) of all types feature prominently throughout Spain
    Sopa de ajo (garlic soup)
    Potaje de vigilia (a stew featuring cod, chickpeas and spinach)
    Un pestino (delicately fried fritters sweetened with a bit of cinnamon, honey or sugar sprinkled on top)
    Hornazo (a pie, in some regions filled with pork, ham or sausage and hard-boiled eggs or another version is to fill it eggs, almonds and aniseed)
    Leche Frita (a dessert that means “fried milk”)
    Rosquillas de Semana Santa (Easter doughnuts)
    Torrijas (similar to the American dish known as French Toast, this is made from bread made with a lovely blend of spices that are sliced thick and soaked in a milk and egg mixture, then fried in olive oil and topped with syrup, honey, sugar or cinnamon)
    La Mona de Pascua (a cake decorated with chocolate candies and colored feathers, and usually eaten on Easter Sunday, which godparents traditionally present to their godchild as a special Easter gift)
    Arroz con leche (rice pudding)
    Lamb and Paella are traditionally eaten on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

    …………….......................………Tag Game

    ~ We have selected an array of Spanish (and other) recipes from the food,com database that include a wide choice of vegetables, fish and yeast breads. You are free to tag one of the recipes we found, or you are free to pick any other recipe in the database that includes yeast or any vegetable or fish. And there is no limit; you can tag as many recipes as you can make before the end of the month.

    Featured Recipes

    ~ Rosquillas (Spanish Doughnuts) #107386 by Susie T
    These Spanish doughnuts are sweet treats that are traditionally served throughout most regions of Spain during Semana Santa (Easter).

    ~ Spanish Chickpeas and Cod (Garbanzos Con Bacalao) #193506 by Rosethorn
    This traditional Spanish dish is commonly served throughout Spain at holiday celebrations, most particularly during Semana Santa (Easter). It’s pure comfort food.

    ~ Torrijas- Spanish French Toast #400154 by littlemafia
    Torrijas, similar to the American dish called French Toast, are traditionally enjoyed during Semana Santa (Easter) and consist of thick slices of bread soaked in a milk and egg mixture and then fried in olive oil and served with honey, sugar or cinnamon sprinkled on top.

    Tapas (Appetizers and Snacks)

    Lemon Olive Tapas #228812
    Pan De Tomate #369679
    Champinones Al Ajillo - Tapas Style Garlic Mushrooms #369646
    Catalan Tomato Bread #370174
    Stuffed Mushrooms With Roasted Red Peppers and Manchego Cheese #369895
    Spanish Garlic Shrimp #175814

    Yeast Breads and Rolls

    Buttery Yeast Rolls #40983
    Multigrain Yeast Bread #107864
    Pan De Horno (Real Spanish Bread) #228943
    Romano's Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread #64446
    Hot Cross Buns - Bread Machine #86866
    Saffron Bread (Abm) #377401

    Fish and Seafood

    Tilapia Al Ajillo (Garlic Tilapia) #57919
    Gambas Al Ajillo (Shrimp W/ Garlic) Catalonia #127029
    Salmon With Tomatoes #57993
    Fried Calamari #34526
    Spanish Halibut #170534
    Spanish Tilapia #232189

    Vegetable Main Dishes

    Vegetable Paella #370856
    Vegetarian Spanish Rice #370755
    Pepper and Potato Tortilla #299430
    Chickpea and Spinach Stew #318939
    Potato and Leek Frittata #62793
    Spanish Layer Tortilla #119603

    Salads and Side Dishes

    Cauliflower Gratin With Manchego and Almond Sauce #133105
    Very Low-Fat Black Bean And Corn Salad #52500
    Hot Tomato! #137168
    Avocado Lime Salad #207168
    Pisto (Spanish Vegetable Stir-Fry) #315405
    Spanish Asparagus Salad With Orange and Manchego Cheese #140919

    Dulce / Postres (Sweets and Desserts)

    Churros With Dipping Chocolate #371145
    Fried Milk #230426
    Dulce De Leche - Fudge-Like Vanilla Caramel - It's Sinfully Wond #234433
    Orange and Almond Spanish Cake #75916
    Rice Pudding With Sultanas (Spain) #369981
    Pastissets (Powdered Sugar Cookies from Spain) #229649

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total
    Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Participants' qualifiying recipes
    Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm
    Forum Host
    The Tags:

    Sharon 123:
    icon_arrow.gif Spanish Rice by Sue Lau

    Last edited by Lalaloula on Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total
    Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:43 pm
    Forum Host
    Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:25 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi Loula! For this month I will make Spanish Rice #99773 by Sue Lao. Happy Easter! icon_biggrin.gif
    Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:38 pm
    Forum Host
    Sharon123 wrote:
    Hi Loula! For this month I will make Spanish Rice #99773 by Sue Lao. Happy Easter! icon_biggrin.gif

    Hey Sharon,

    how yummy that sounds! yummy.gif Ill get it noted for you above and might end up making it myself, too. Sounds so good!

    Happy Easter to you, too! icon_biggrin.gif Do you have any special plans? Im spending the weekend with my family and plan on dying some easter eggs with onion skins. icon_biggrin.gif

    Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:03 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi Loula, I spent the day at home and didn't really celebrate. But it was a good day, nonetheless. icon_biggrin.gif
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