Presentation of the European Network of Holy Week and Easter Celebrations at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR)
At the present, the route consists of 18 European destinations and its objective is to become an European Cultural Route.
The Turespaña stand was the backdrop chosen to present the European Network of Holy Week and Easter Celebrations. This network was founded with the objective of preserving, protecting and promoting the material and intangible heritage related to the Holy Week and Easter celebrations of its 18 member towns and cities.
The following attended the presentation: Rosario Andújar Torrejón, Chair of the European Network of Holy Week and Easter Celebrations, Chair of the Association “Caminos de Pasión” and Mayoress of Osuna (Seville); Manuel Alejandro Cardenete Flores, Vice-Minister of the Andalusian Regional Government’s Department of Tourism, Justice and Local Administration; Francisco Morales González, Vice-Mayor of Lorca and the City Council’s Tourism Councillor; Emilio Bascuñana, Mayor of Orihuela (Alicante) and María Loureiro García, Mayoress of Viveiro (Lugo) as stand representatives, as well as other authorities and delegates of institutions and organisations, such as the State’s Tourism Secretary, the European Institute of Cultural Routes or mayors and representatives of participating towns.
The European Network of Holy Week and Easter Celebrations consists of the Frederick II Foundation, representing Palermo and Caltanissetta (Sicily, Italy); the town of Birgu (Malta), Braga’s Holy Week and Lent Commission (Portugal), the Škofja Loka Passion Plays (Slovenia), the towns on the Caminos de Pasión route, including Alcalá la Real (Jaén), Baena, Cabra, Lucena, Priego de Córdoba and Puente Genil (Córdoba) and Carmona, Écija, Osuna and Utrera (Seville), as well as Orihuela (Alicante), Lorca (Murcia) and Viveiro (Lugo) in Spain.
Traditions that unite
The current chair of the European Network, Rosario Andújar, explained how the network was founded with the objective of preserving, protecting and promoting the material and intangible heritage related to the Holy Week and Easter celebrations in these towns and cities to improve the heritage destinations and their natural and rural environments. Such would encourage the redistribution of tourism to less crowded destinations that have similar characteristics and therefore contribute to a more sustainable tourism. Furthermore, the association aims to create cooperation networks with cultural and tourism agents that study and highlight the authenticity, uniqueness and social background of the destinations and promote educational activities and research about their customs and traditions.
To this end, she highlighted how the work carried out since the association was created in March 2019 also focuses on applying to be a European Cultural Route. “The work of the 18 destinations that are currently members of the European Network of Holy Week and Easter celebrations is our commitment to glocalisation,” explained Andújar. This European network has a global approach but its actions have a repercussion locally. The need to find common ground between the different destinations and emphasise the unique characteristics of each one makes this project a fascinating challenge. Recognising the social importance of these celebrations and how, thanks to them, their areas and inhabitants are able to develop was the message that she wanted to convey during the presentation.
Furthermore, the network is aware that by promoting these traditions, it gives recognition to the peculiarities and differences of these destinations and that any future activities must promote their cultural heritage as a tool to shift season patterns, redistribute tourist flows and ensure our commitment to the local communities who carry these traditions forward. Lastly, the network’s website was also officially presented, which offers more information: www.holyweekeurope.com