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Thousands of people live the traditional Living Way of the Cross in Balmaseda (Bizkaia) this Good Friday

BILBAO, 29 Mar.

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Thousands of people live the traditional Living Way of the Cross in Balmaseda (Bizkaia) this Good Friday


The Biscayan town of Balmaseda has once again brought together thousands of visitors this Good Friday, who have come to experience its traditional Living Via Crucis live, in which the neighbors perform "a faithful and dramatic representation of the passion and death of Jesus Christ" outdoors, throughout the municipality.

After the representation of the Last Supper, which takes place every Holy Thursday, starting at nine-thirty at night, this morning the trial before Pontius Pilate was staged, starting at nine-thirty in the morning, to continue an hour later with the Living Via Crucis, on which rain threatened, which only appeared at the end of the representation in the form of 'xirimiri', when Jesus was crucified.

According to the organizers, Balmaseda is the oldest town in Bizkaia and, therefore, "preserves numerous vestiges of its monumental past and centuries-old traditions that attest to its long history."

Among them, the representation of the Living Via Crucis "is the tradition that Balmasedans most proudly proclaim, and to which every year a large group of people dedicate themselves," who participate in the organization and representation of The Living Passion of the municipality.

It is, as they have stated, "a faithful and dramatic" representation of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ "to which the men and women of Balmaseda give the greatest realism." The main characters - Jesus, Pilate, the Virgin, the Thieves and Magdalene - are renewed every year, and all of them are characterized "for not requiring makeup and for acting in a totally selfless manner", as is the artistic and technical direction. .

At 9:30 p.m. on Holy Thursday, the first of the events began in the Plaza de San Severino in Balmaseda. The representation used the façade of the Parish Church, a national monument of Euskadi, to stage the Council of Priests and the Judgment of Jesus before them, and the arcades of the Town Hall for the Last Supper.

The "most well-known and dramatic" episode of the Balmaseda Passion began at 9:30 a.m. today in the Campo de las Monjas with "three very different parts", the trial of Pilate, in which Jesus is sentenced to death, the Via Crucis through the historic center of Balmaseda and the crucifixion.

The promoters have recalled that the Living Passion "is not the only tradition that the residents of Balmaseda maintain during Holy Week." The "piety" of the town is also reflected in "different processions of steps" that take place on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. On Thursday, the steps were accompanied by the Romans and by the penitents "hooded, barefoot and carrying crosses."

This Friday, on the occasion of the Burial Procession, at 7:00 p.m., some of the characters from the Living Via Crucis will join the characters from the previous day. Finally, at 9:30 p.m., the Roman guard will escort, "in a sepulchral silence" the steps of the Christ of the Cemetery and the Dolorosa to the cemetery.