Once heard, never forgotten!
The Semana Santa celebrations in Mula combine the typical religious processions found throughout the Region of Murcia with the Night of the Drums, the tamboristas, which begins on the Tuesday morning and lasts until 4pm on the Wednesday. This mass drumming session takes place in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, and is a renowned tourist attraction, bringing in more and more visitors every year.
The traditional celebration of Easter in Mula goes back to medieval times, when the Passion of Christ was represented theatrically in order to communicate the message of the Bible to the mainly illiterate inhabitants, as used to happen in medieval England with the Passion Plays and Mystery Plays. The drums appear to have been added to the celebrations during the 19th century, although no documentation sheds too much light on how and why this came to be so. Indeed the first written records of the drummers come from occasions when they were banned!
In other parts of Spain the use of drums has been connected with the symbolic driving out of the devil, or of bad luck.
Nowadays though, they add noise to the colour that already exists in the processions, with processions of images and tableaux including the Samaritana, the Procession in Silence, the Santo Entierro and the Resucitado, all of which wind their way through the steep streets of the town below the castle. The processions all remain within the old quarter of the town, which whilst it adds atmosphere to the occasion, also adds to the physical effort required to manoeuvre the heavy tronos, the "Cuesta del Caño" being particularly steep and difficult to navigate.
The most important moments of the week are generally agreed to be the Tuesday morning, Good Friday morning and Easter Sunday until the afternoon, but no day is without its procession and accompanying crowds.
The most ancient procession is the Samaritana on the Wednesday afternoon, which dates back to 1606, when it was founded by the Brotherhood of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. Other notable processions are on the Thursday evening, when the sculptures paraded are especially impressive, Friday morning, when the procession is held in silence, and on Good Friday, when almost all of the tableaux are the work of the famous artist Lozano.
It is also worth noting the tunics worn by the paso of Jesús Nazareno, which sallies forth on Thursday evening, the tunics passed down through the families of participants, some of them being more than 50 years old.
Since 1997, the Easter Sunday procession has featured a tableaux carried only by women, which is rather unusual in the male-dominated world of the religious guilds!
Iglesia de Santo Domingo Guzmán
Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Carmen,
Real Monasterio de la Encarnación,
Domingo de Ramos
At 9.45am the blessing of palms and the liturgical procession takes place, leaving from the Iglesia de san Miguel Arcangel to the church , Iglesia de Santo Domingo Guzmán.
Arriving in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, there is a reception for Jesús triumphant and the various images. During the encuentro there are fireworks and a concert given by the musical bands of the town. At the end of this, the images return to their churches.
10.30 Mass in the Church of Santo Domingo, followed by the Procesión de Jesús Triunfante y Santiago Apóstol.
Pasos:1.Jesús Triunfante, José María Molina - 2002
2.Santiago Apóstol, Cuenca Santo - 2002
3.María de Cleofás, Cuenca Santo - 2006
4.San Juan, Sánchez Lozano - 1961
5.Virgen de la Paz, Sánchez Lozano - 1962
Itinerary: Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, C/ Santo Domingo, C/ Martín Perea, C/ del Jardín, Avda. de los Mártires, C/ Ollerías, Avda. Emeterio Cuadrado, C/ Boticas a Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
Return routes, C/ Boticas, C/ Martín Perea y C/ de Santo Domingo hasta la iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Martes santo, La Noche de los Tambores
At midnight on Tuesday night practically all the town gather in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, dressed as Nazarenos wearing tunics, with their tambours, drums. Everyone waits in absolute silence until the bells ring out at midnight, then all begin to bang their drums in unison. The Nazarenos with the most strength continue to play right up until 4pm on the Wednesday afternoon.This is called the tamborada.
Miercoles santo, Holy Wednesday
The strongest tamboristas continue to play until 4pm when the drumming stops.
20.00 Procesión de La Samaritana, from the Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, the oldest of the Mula brotherhoods.
This particular procession involves negotiating the Gradas, or steps, which lead up to the hermitage, a steep and unforgiving climb for the weary bearers, negotiating the tight turns and steepness of the gradas.
1.La Samaritana, Sánchez Lozano - 1946
2.Oración en el Huerto, Sánchez Lozano - 1953
3.El Prendimiento, Sánchez Lozano - 1952
4.Ecce Homo, Sánchez Lozano - 1946
5.San Pedro, Sánchez Lozano - 2008
6.San Juan, Sánchez Lozano - 1944
7.Virgen de los Dolores, Sánchez Lozano - 1956
Route: From the Ermita de Ntra. Sra. del Carmen, down the steps to C/ de Santo Domingo, C/ Martín Perea, C/ del Jardín, to the corner with C/ Boticas, where the monument to the Mula Semana Santa is located, C/ San Miguel, C/ Doña Elvira, C/ Mayor, C/ del Caño to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and return via C/ Martín Perea, C/ los Sastres to the gradas or steps of el Carmen and to the Ermita de Ntra. Sra. del Carmen.Departs from the Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Carmen at 8pm.
Jueves santo, Holy Thursday
19.30 Procesión de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, from the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. This brotherhood, the Hermandad de Nuestro padre Jesús Nazareno was reformed in 1911, their origin unknown, due to the disappearance of archives during the civil War.
1. Cristo atado a la Columna, González Moreno - 1952
2.Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, Sánchez Lozano - 1946
3.La Verónica, Carrillo Marco - 1947
4.Cristo de la Agonía, Unknown sculptor - 1943
5.Santiago Apóstol, Cuenca Santo - 2002
6.San Juan, Sánchez Lozano - 1961
7.Virgen de los Dolores, Sánchez Lozano - 1943
Route: Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, C/ Santo Domingo, C/ Martín Perea, C/ del Jardín, Avda. de los Mártires, C/ del Olmo, Avda. Emeterio Cuadrado, C/ Boticas, C/ San Miguel, C/ Doña Elvira, C/ Mayor, C/ del Caño until arriving in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and then returning via C/ Martín Perea and C/ Santo Domingo until reaching the Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Candlelight vigils to remember the Last Supper until 2 am.
Procession of silence.
Leaves at 1am from the Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
1 Paso, Cristo del Asilo, 1976, workshops of Santa Rufina from Valencia.
This is organised by the Cofradía of the Santísimo Cristo del Asilo which was founded in 1523. The street lights are extinguished and Christ parades alone,lit only by four lamps, the townspeople following in silence behind, betrayed.
Viernes Santo, Good Friday
From 8m in the morning until 4pm, the hour of Christ's death, the tambours resume their drumming.
At the end of this procession, all the images arrive in the Plaza de la Iglesia, and wait outside for the image of Christ to arrive. He is removed from his trono and remains in the doorway of the church, carried by his bearers, whilst each of the pasos dips down in reverence and pays homage to him. This act is known as "Las Reverencías."
19.30 Procesión del Santo Entierro from the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, ending in the Plaza de Santo Domingo.
1.La Piedad, Sánchez Lozano - 1950
2.Cristo Yacente, Sánchez Lozano - 1948
3.Soledad del Calvario,Sánchez Lozano - 1962
4.María Magadalena,Sánchez Lozano - 1948
5.San Juan, Sánchez Lozano - 1961
6.Virgen de la Soledad,Sánchez Lozano - 1941
Route: Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, C/ Santo Domingo, C/ Martín Perea, C/ del Jardín, Avda. de los Mártires, C/ del Olmo, Avda. Emeterio Cuadrado, C/ Boticas, C/ San Miguel, C/ Dña. Elvira, C/ Mayor, C/ del Caño , arriving in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and returning via C/ Martín Perea y C/ Santo Domingo until returning to the Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
Domingo de Resurreción, Resurrection Sunday
The tambours sound again, from 12 midday to 9pm.
This is a parade of joy, of light, of resurrection, with several little quirks which make the Sunday resurrection parades so different from all the rest. During the encuentro which takes place in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the tronos dip to acknowledge Christ resurrected, each performing a little dance to their own particular music.
The act of reverence also takes place on the corner of the Palacio, as the pasos split off to return to their respective churches.
The images which return to the Real Monasterio de la Encarnación, perform a final act of reverence, the bearers lifting the tronos high above their heads, before dropping down onto their knees, carrying the tronos into the church on their knees. As the Ángel Triunfante , Ángeles en el Sepulcro, Jesús resuscitado, María salome and Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles arrive in the Monastery a concert is celebrated , given by the Agrupación Musical Averroes from Cieza.
In perfect synchrony the Cofradías and pasos leave their respective churches, joining together in an encuentro, then continue the procession together.
08.30 Procesión del Resucitado, from the Real monasterio de la Encarnación, and other churches, arriving in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento at 10.00 for the encuentro.
1.Ángel Triunfante, García Mengual - 1995
2.Ángeles en el Sepulcro, Yuste Navarro - 2008
3.Jesús Resucitado, Hernández Navarro - 1990
4.María Salomé, Hernandez Navarro - 1997
5.María Magdalena, Sánchez Lozano - 1948
6.San Pedro, Juan José Páez - 2008
7.Santiago Apóstol, Cuenca Santo - 2002
8.San Juan, Sánchez Lozano - 1944
9.Virgen de los Dolores, Sánchez Lozano - 1956
Route: From the Real Monasterio de la Encarnación as well as the Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and Ermita de Ntra. Sra. del Carmen. C/ del Santo, C/ Carretería, C/ Cartagena, Avda. Emeterio Cuadrado, C/ Boticas to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Following the encuentrothe pasos continue, C/ Martín Perea. At the crossroads with C/ las Monjas the pasos again spilt up and go back to their churches of origin: Real Monasterio de la Encarnación, Iglesia de Santo Domingo de Guzmán and Ermita del Carmen.
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