Easter in Puerto Vallarta
Aside from Spring Break, Easter is a unique time in Puerto Vallarta and receives distinct attention amid all the frivolity. In 2017, Holy Week (Semana Santa) is April 10 – 16 and Easter Week (Semana de Pascua) is the following week, a two week period with a lot of partying that also includes serious religious observance. School is out for this nearly half month period, so it’s vacation for Mexicans, but with the huge Catholic population, it’s also a time to observe Jesus final days with rituals such as Passion plays and processions. Some cities are known for these celebrations, such as Pátzcuaro, Oaxaca, and San Cristobal de las Casas. A famous Passion play in Iztapalapa draws over a million people for the Via Crucis, a complete reenactment of events leading to and including the crucifixion. Puerto Vallarta is a bit more low-key though there are still many events that occur around the church and observance of this spiritual time.
Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) is when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. It’s not unusual to see processions reenacting his journey, as they lay down palm branches in the streets leading to houses of worship. These palm branches and woven pieces are for sale in the streets and we love to take them home as decorations after the ceremony. A local man will have the high honor of riding a donkey, impersonating Christ.
On Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) or Holy Thursday, foot-washing ceremonies will take place, commemorating the washing of the feet of the apostles and the Last Supper. This will lead to a special Mass with Holy Communion.
Good Friday (Viernes Santo) is a very passionate day, when statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus are carried through town and chosen men take turns dragging a heavy cross along the route, which is actually rather painful to observe.
On Holy Saturday (Sabado de Gloria) you might be lucky enough to find the fiestas where Judas Iscariot is burned in effigy. He was the disciple who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This year we expect to see a lot of Trump figures substituted for
Judas, as it is the tradition to either make them look like Satan or a highly disliked political person.
Easter Sunday is spent with family, at home or on the beach, after Mass, serving special meals and lots of fiesta. Happy Easter/Feliz Pascua!
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.
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