Have you thought about visiting Mexico? Do you love the Mexican Culture? ... Then Easter is the time for you to visit!
As a largely Roman Catholic nation, Mexico celebrates Easter over a multi-week extravaganza. Traditionally, the Easter season begins with Carnival which is the festival that leads up to Lent — a 40-day religious observance that represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.
Throughout Lent many people give up a lot — such as food — and Carnival therefore is all about rich living and rich eating. If you’re lucky enough to be in Mexico in late February to early March, you’ll enjoy street festivals, colourful costumes, parades and lots of dancing.
Once Carnival ends, the first day of Lent commences — Ash Wednesday. This day is a Christian holiday reserved for prayer, fasting and remorse. Christians will spend their day in church where priests mark their forehead with a cross from ashes to remind them of their mortality — most Mexicans will leave this on their head all day.
Celebrations really get going at the commencement of Palm Sunday which is held exactly one week before Easter and is the official start of Holy Week. On this day Mexicans commemorate Jesus on his famed entry into Jerusalem and decorate churches with palms to represent how Jesus was welcomed – people spread palms before him.
Holy Thursday is in honour of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples. The following day is Good Friday which commemorates the day of Christ’s crucifixion. The streets will often be closed as silent parades fill the street to display a re-creation of Jesus in his crown of thorns carrying the cross.
The joyous celebrations begin on Easter Sunday with Christ’s resurrection. Churches are filled with people and happy songs, followed by a blissful celebration in the streets. Unlike other countries and cultures many celebrations end with Easter Sunday, however not in Mexico. ‘Semana de Pascua’ is the week that follows where most businesses are closed, and families take time off for a little break and relaxation (we don’t blame them … what a big couple of weeks).
… And just like that the Easter celebrations are complete for another year. We can certainly say that experiencing a Mexican Easter in our lifetime is on our bucket list!