Santiago de Compostela, Spain, April 15, 2003 - Semana Santa Procession in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. As with the rest of Spain, Semana Santa, (Easter Week or Holy Week) is celebrated with impressive processions and is the most important celebration in Spain.
Semana Santa takes place the week leading up to the Easter weekend and consists of processions in which enormous 'pasos' (floats) are carried around the streets by teams of 'costaleros' (bearers) followed by hundreds of 'nazarenos' (penitents). Throughout the city thousands of people line the streets waiting to catch a glimpse of the processions as they wind there way to the streets towards the cathedral.
One can be forgiven for believing the Ku Klux Klan and the Semana Santa parades were borne of the same idea, since the costumes of both are practically identical. Despite this, there appears to be no connection whatsoever between the two, although the Nazarenos came first. The Ku Klux Klan used their costumes for disguise, for the Christian connotations and perhaps the fact they were usually white had a racial significance. Although there is the possibility that there were members of the Klan who had witnessed Semana Santa parades and took their inspiration from these, there is no defined link.