Centuries old traditions of Holy Week improving with the help of mobile applications
Holy Week or “Semana Santa” in parts of Europe as well as in Latin America is very different than the Easter celebrated in the United States. For many countries Holy Week is vacation time, no school for the kids and no work for the parents. It is also a time for glamorous religious celebrations, places like Andalucía, Spain draws thousands of tourists each year that come to witness some of the most elaborate events that have ben celebrated through centuries.
These events consist of processions throughout the cities, that feature huge pasos (floats) of lifelike wooden sculptures of scenes of Jesus journey in Jerusalem and images of the grieving Virgin Mary. They weight about a metric ton and are carried by “costaleros” or sack men who must walk in unison. The Parades also include en from brotherhood/fraternities of Spain that have been around for hundreds of years, dressed in penitential robes.
Since these events draw so many tourists many organizations in charge of these events have taken a step towards modernizing the events with technology, especially through the use of apps. A recent app that has been used in the family friendly celebrations of Seville is Peter Pan; this app was created to prevent children from getting lost in events of this magnitude. Children are giving pins that will connect to their parents phone and show the exact location of the child on a map.
Jerez another city in Spain with a tourist attracting holy week celebration, has recently created an app for Holy Week “La Semana Santa Jerez 2015,” the app helps track the precise location of specific floats of brotherhoods in the parade route. Similarly Seville has created an app called “Semana Santa Sevilla iLlamador” that not only tracks the brotherhoods and floats but also gives information on each individual one as well as broadcast each of them live.
Another App “ICofrade” has taken advantage of technology further and informs users of all the different holy week celebrations taking place in Spain. The app also includes information about all the events, locations, recommendations, and rankings.
Although Holy Week is one of the oldest traditions celebrated in Spain, that still follow rituals that have been past on from generations, technology is giving it a new twist. Cities will now be able to better organize and protect tourist during this religious times. This will attract more family and help younger generations fully understand the meaning and importance of Semana Santa.