These Easter celebrations feature nazarenos (penitents) in different coloured tunics, with enormous “bellies”, which are actually large drawstring bags full of sweets, pastries, boiled eggs and even beans, which they share with friends and family over the course of the procession.
There are more sober processions during which no sweets are handed out, such as the Refugio, Rescate, Salud, Retorno and Cristo Yacente. One of the most impressive is the Silent Procession, which takes place on Thursday. The most important procession is the Salzillo, which begins on Good Friday at 7 am, when the first ray of sunshine, known as the “kiss”, touches the standard of the lay brotherhood, Cofradía de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareo, or the face of the Virgin of Sorrows. Other notable processions include La Cena, La Oración en el Huerto, El Prendimiento, Los Azotes, La Mujer Verónica, La Caída, Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno (not the Salzillo), San Juan and La Dolorosa. On Friday evening, the Cristo de la Misericordia, the Church of San Esteban, the Santo Sepulcro and the San Bartolomé processions all take place. These can be seen parading together around the Trapería. On the Saturday, the Cristo Yacente procession leaves Santo Domingo, with one of the most impressive moments of Easter Week in Murcia, when it passes underneath the Santo Domingo Arch.