Here is a short video from the tourism office about Semana Santa here in Santiago:
I wanted to share some of the pictures from a procession I saw on Viernes Santo (Good Friday) in Santiago. A warning, their costumes (the nazareno, or robe, and capirote, or hood) look eerily similar to those of the KKK. Unfortunately the KKK decided to model their getup after the Spanish one, which has been around forever. In Spain, however, it is considered holy and reverent. Depending on which hermandad or cofradía is processing, the outfits are different. Many people walk barefoot or chain their ankle, and cover their heads in mourning and to hide their faces because of the shame of their sins committed throughout the year, their identity only for God to know. Although the processions are much, much bigger and elaborate in Andalucía, they are still stunning to see here in Santiago, especially as I have never seen anything like it before.
Easter is celebrated very differently here than in the United States. It is very un-commercial. There is almost no sign of Easter in the stores--no Easter bunny, plastic eggs, Peeps, jelly-beans, etc. There are traditional cakes and foods associated with Easter, such as torrijas (essentially the Spanish equivalent to French toast). Easter is a very religious event, but also a time of celebration.