In Spain the hooded masks and robes represent shame for the sins committed to Jesus during his cruxifiction and for the sins committed by the people who wear the robes.
In all of the parades before Easter they are present, hiding their faces.
On Easter day there are many parades through the streets still the hoods and robes are in attendance, only now their masks are removed and carried high above their heads. Representing that their sins have been forgiven by Jesus, who traditionally rose on Easter morning.
While it was a little strange getting used to seeing so many pointed masks without thinking of bigotry, this Spanish tradition is a beautiful thing to witness.