Semana Santa

Dani Cardona / Reuters / Corbis

The Heart of Holy Week
Dating back to the 4th century, Semana Santa commemorates events in the days leading up to the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Celebrated all over Latin America, the observance has its unofficial home base in Spain where penitents hold hundreds of processions around the clock. During marches — like this one in Mallorca which honors Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem — members of cofradías, or brotherhoods, often wear what is called a nazareno or robe consisting of a tunic and a pointed hood to hide their identities as they repent of their sins. The robes were maliciously co-opted in the U.S. by the Ku Klux Klan, which is virulently anti-Catholic.

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