Balmaseda, The Living Passion Play

Holy Week in Enkarterri

On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, the historical centre of Balmaseda is transformed into a living stage. Every corner of its streets, the costumes and the make-up of the townspeople recreate the last hours of Christ with surprising realism. The magnificent theatricality of this Living Passion attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.


Palm Sunday


24th March, 8:30 AM: Recreation of the origins of the Living Way of the Cross

  • A pilgrimage of penitents with 14 crosses on their shoulders sets off for Mount Kolitza. It is a recreation of the origins of the Living Way of the Cross in Balmaseda, born from prayers against the plagues that struck the town at the end of the 15th century.


Maundy Thursday


7:00 PM: Procession of the Steps

  • Starting from San Severino square, the pasos (religious floats) are accompanied by Roman soldiers and penitents, hooded, barefoot, and carrying crosses. The Coral Kolitza and the Azkoaga music band also participate.


9:30 PM: The Last Supper (performance)

Ticket purchase required. Get it here!

  • For one hour, scenes of the Council of Priests, the Last Supper, prayer in the Garden of Olives, the arrest of Jesus, and the trial before the priests led by Caiaphas will be re-enacted.


Good Friday


9:30 AM: Trial before Pilate

Ticket purchase required. Get it here!

  • Begins with the hanging of Judas and continues with the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate in the Praetorium. Scenes include the flagellation of Christ, the release of Barabbas and the Ecce Homo, the first fall, the encounter with Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary.


10:30 AM: Way of the Cross

  • Along with the characters and steps from the previous day, the Magdalene, Virgin Mary, Veronica, the Apostles, and other characters from the morning performance will parade. It is a display of great visual appeal and drama, where Jesus breathes his last words; then, he is taken down and transported to the tomb.


7:00 PM: Burial procession

  • The quality of the steps and the somber state of the characters give this procession an atmosphere of profound sadness and contemplation.


9:30 PM: Silent procession

  • The Roman Guard escorts in a sepulchral silence the steps of the Christ of the Cemetery and the Sorrowful to the cemetery, where after a brief prayer, the Christ's step is placed in its usual location. Hundreds of attendees accompany the procession carrying lit candles.


Balmaseda, The Living Passion Play

Holy Week in Enkarterri

March 2024 28 From
March 2024 29 Until

From: March the 28 | 19:00
Until: March the 29 | 22:00