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Balmaseda was the first village to be established in the region of Bizkaia, in 1199. It is protective of its traditions, which is evident in the care with which the 'Pasión Viviente' is organised and celebrated. A feeling of responsibility to share with all the last hours of Jesus' life has been passed down through the generations.

The main event is a living representation of the final days of Jesus of Nazareth's life that takes place in the streets and squares of the town on the night of Maundy Thursday and the morning of Good Friday.

The main event is a living representation of the final days of Jesus of Nazareth's life that takes place in the streets and squares of the town on the night of Maundy Thursday and the morning of Good Friday.

Since 1974

Events

It started as a procession with 'pasos' – floats carried by fifty men – held in penitence in an attempt to end to the plagues of the time. It has always involved the Roman guard and the main characters of the Stations of the Cross and time has seen the incorporation of new characters, the play has become increasingly realistic and emotional to watch.

The processions still involve 'pasos', some of which were contructed back in the 19th Century. The Roman Guard, the Penitents, the Kolitza Choir and the Music Band, all make their way through the historic centre of the town on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, ending with the popular 'Procesión del Silencio' - Procession of Silence.

In 1974 the 'Asociación Via Crucis Viviente de Balmaseda' was created to organise and preserve this tradition.

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