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People flocked to see the parades in Orihuela alnd elsewhere

After a bumper weekend around the area, the towns and cities along the coast have started to return to normality, as one of the busiest Easter holidays for some time came to a close.

The DGT traffic department had planned for an estimated 13.5 million journeys on the roads during the weekend, an estimated 4.7% increase on the same period last year.

The celebrations in Orihuela utilised modern technology this year, with a dedicated website set up offering pictures, videos and guides, as well as route maps and other information which would allow visitors from around the world to research their expectations via www.semanasantaorihuela.com, supporting the status of International Tourist Interest that Orihuela has achieved.

Instagram also played a big part this year, with a special hashtag being used to group pictures together. #semanasantaorihuela2015 was the tag to put on pictures, with the tourism department promising to choose the best from the selection and a prize on offer for the winner.

Buses were provided from the Orihuela Costa to the city for coastal residents to enjoy the celebrations. The first bus will ran on Maundy Thursday to coincide with the night time solemn parade, the Procesión De La Hermandad Del Silencio. On Good Friday a bus took residents to watch the Procesión General De La Pasión, and on Easter Saturday, a bus took visitors to the Procesión Del Santo Entierro De Cristo.

With processions taking place right through the period, it was those on Thursday and Friday that were the most dramatic. The streets of Orihuela were plunged into darkness late at night for the solemn procession on Thursday, with the silence only being broken by the sound of a drum and a horn as the emotion of the respect that the parade represented was felt in the hearts of those watching.

Sunday was a day of celebration, as the procession of jubilation took to the streets, accompanied by the noise of beating drums, to bring the fiesta to a close for another year.

Not unlike Christmas, for many Easter is about overindulgence as much as any religious message that it may represent, as chocolate eggs are bought and eaten in abundance, but for those perhaps unable to enjoy the little luxuries, help is also at hand at this time of year.

Food collections for the needy have been taking place around the area. In fact, the Hermandad del Silencio y Oración group, from the Orihuela town of el Huerto, collected 280 kilos of food which has been handed over to the Caritas organisation. The members of the brotherhood came up with the idea that all 38 of the bearers carrying the Cristo del Silencio would join in a solidarity drive. Having become established in 1942, this is the first year they have tried such a scheme, but vow to repeat it every year on account of the success.

The success of Easter also looks set to be good news for the tourism industry too. Ordinarily, a busy Easter means an even busier summer. The last few years has seen steady growth in the area and this year looks set to break records once again.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46865/

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