Some on the east coast started late and went ahead in a drizzle or under threatening black clouds, but with comfortable temperatures of above 15ºC, whilst those in provincial capital cities in the centre-northern region of Castilla y León were called off altogether.
The photograph shows the brotherhood of Cristo de los Gascones leaving Segovia Cathedral in the west of the region carrying their statue of Christ, part of the reenactment of the crucifixion, covered in a plastic sheet.
The Good Friday parade – where Brotherhood members or capirotes wear brightly-coloured silk gowns covering their entire faces except their eyes, as a sign of ‘shame’ at their sins, and narrow conical hats pointing to heaven – is the main Easter event in Spain and the processions in Sevilla are the most famous worldwide, normally attracting tens of thousands of tourists from every continent.
Whilst the capirotes are erroneously compared to the extreme right-wing xenophobic gang from the USA, the Ku Klux Klan (‘KKK’), the Easter costumes in Spain came first and the KKK copied them because of their sinister appearance.
But visitors who travelled to Valladolid, Zamora, León and Salamanca would not get to see them this year.
Zamora’s procession always carries great expectations, since it is one of the oldest in Spain – the Real Cofradía del Santo Entierro (‘Royal Brotherhood of the Holy Burial’) dates back to the end of the 16th century.
The cities of Ávila and Burgos waited until the very last minute, but heavy rain, sleet and snow refused to let up and made it impossible for them to proceed.
The same situation was seen across the region, since even small villages stage Easter parades, meaning hundreds were halted by the weather.
Most processions in Madrid went ahead, but were much shorter than usual, lasting only an hour and a quarter before parade members sought refuge in churches.
Other than the Vigil of Christ church services today (Easter Saturday) awaiting Christ’s rising from the dead, and the early-morning Resurrection mass tomorrow (Easter Sunday), the main public event which remains of the week-long fiesta is the Reencuentro, or ‘reunion’, tomorrow morning.
The symbolic meeting between the Virgin Mary and her newly-risen son in town and village centres across Spain, with the capirotes removing their masks and hoods, doves of peace released and sweets and flower petals are thrown, normally starts at around 09.00 or 10.00 and is serenaded with joyous music to mark the biblical miracle.
But the weather forecast remains grim, meaning that even the moving and uplifting Reencuentro may not be able to go ahead in many parts of the country.