Episode of the Passion of Christ. Riogordo. Easter. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
Holy Week is one of the most important events on Riogordo's religious calendar. This is evidenced by the traditional processions and parades, and the enactment of El Paso on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In fact, Riogordo is a must-visit at this time of year, boasting one of the most exceptional live performances of the Passion of Jesus Christ.
“El Paso” dates back to the 18th century, when it was performed in the Riogordo church's atrium for fund-raising purposes to rebuild the church. The performance is now a worldwide benchmark for thousands of visitors.
Everybody in the village gets involved in this spectacular staging. People involvement is such that they usually become their New Testament characters and even stop using their own names throughout the year. Around four hundred people—most of them originally from this Axarquía town—strive for months to rehearse their scripts and sew their costumes to re-enact the Passion of Jesus Christ in a ten-thousand-meter natural setting.
The play has an approximate duration of three and a half hours including plenty of scenes in two different categories: the first presents many episodes in Jesus' public life, and the second is based on what is, strictly speaking, the Passion. All stages are known for being extremely faithful to the Gospel texts, a meticulous setting, and the realism present in its scenes. It is safe to say that the play is visually beautiful and colourful. Some of the best scenes include Jesus' Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem—in which the people greet him with olive branches and palm leaves specifically brought from Elche (Alicante)—and the Sermon on the Mount when a Roman soldier asks Jesus to heal his servant.
One of the most memorable moments is the hanging of Judas, amazingly authentic and striking due to a set of gadgets that have been purpose-built for the scene.