ORIGINS AND MEANINGS
Pathos and theatrics, which characterize the
commemorations of the death of Christ, clearly
show their Spanish origin. In fact, these traditions
date from the seventeenth century.
However, some features are from earlier times, such as the habit of exhibiting, in the churches, Is Nenniris, plates full of cotton wool which, on Ash Wednesday, are sown with wheat grains or legumes and left to grow in the dark. Their origins are to be found in the Phoenician myth of Adonis, that celebrated the death and rebirth of vegetation.
There also is Is Allichirongius de Pasca, the traditional spring cleaning of the houses in the days before Easter. Although there is clearly a hygienic purpose to
this tradition, its origins are probably to be found
in ancient purification rites.