Holy Week Traditions In Mexico
Some Mexican traditions will help you enjoy the culture to the fullest.
Easter is celebrated in Mexico for two whole weeks. Semana Santa, the week before Easter, & Semana de Pascua, the day after Easter Sunday, are highly revered by the country’s Catholic population. During this period, Mexicans take off from work and school and head to the beach to relax with their family. However, it is also a day set aside for religious observances, including processions, special church rituals, and rituals like reenactments of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Domingo de Pascua
Because many schools and businesses give their employees two weeks off between Palm Sunday and Easter Weekend (Domingo de Pascua), the week after April is also celebrated as part of Semana Santa. Easter is always celebrated on the initial Sunday following the initial full moon that occurs after or on the vernal equinox, although the exact date of Easter varies from year to year because of the lunar calendar and the vernal equinox. Here are the Easter dates for the next several years to make planning easier. Before and after these days is when people celebrate Holy Week and Easter, respectively.
Doa Dominga de Ramos
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, is celebrated by Catholics worldwide as a remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Palm branches were spread out for Jesus by the citizens of Jerusalem as he came into town on a donkey, as told in the Bible. Woven palms are peddled outside churches around Mexico as towns and villages stage processions depicting Jesus’ triumphant arrival.
Maundy Thursday is the Wednesday of Holy Week, and it is a time to reflect on Jesus’s last meal with his disciples and his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. Traditional activities in Mexico include a service with Holy Communion, a foot-washing rite, and a pilgrimage to seven churches to commemorate the disciples’ watch in the courtyard while Jesus meditated before his arrest.
Jesus’ crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday. This day is marked with solemn religious processions in which images of Christ and the Virgin Mary are paraded through the streets of cities, often accompanied by theatrical reenactments of the crucifixion. Attendees frequently don garb evocative of the period during which Jesus lived. Nearly a million people participate in the annual Via Crucis reenactment in Iztapalapa, north of Mexico City.
Sabado de Gloria
Even if the practice of burning an idol of Judas (representing his treachery of Jesus) has not entirely died out in some Mexican communities, it is now more often seen as a celebratory event than a solemn one. Figures made of cardboard or paper-mâché are often decorated with fireworks before being set ablaze. Satan is an everyday inspiration for Judas’ characters, although other divisive public figures have also been used.
Domingo de Pascua
The Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs are not part of the Mexican Easter celebration. Traditionally, this is a day when Catholics go to church and quietly rejoice with their family. However, fireworks and joyful processions involving music and dancing are part of the celebrations in several regions.