Holy Week takes place the last week of Lent and the week before Easter, and in Oaxaca, Mexico, this commemoration is a real treat for visitors and locals alike. The vast majority of Oaxaca’s population is Catholic, so this state and its capital take special care to preserve the traditions left behind by Spaniards.
All the different barrios or neighborhoods get together to build the altars, and the community gets involved: they prepare food, decorate, pray, and observe each one of the events occurred during the days before and after the crucifixion of Jesus. They become one big family and assist to their neighborhood church. For those who want to witness this event in a bigger scale, they go to the main plaza (Zócalo) in the City of Oaxaca, and visit the magnificent Cathedral.
Oaxaca has been, for some decades now, the favorite destination for Mexican nationals during Holy Week, and now it’s attracting some new visitors across the globe, who are amazed by the fervor shown in each one of the events commemorated.
Mexicans and foreigners enjoy this week by assisting to the processions, buying local folk art allusive to Catholic images, and eating the most delicious street food.
Where to Stay:
Casa Divina Oaxaca is a charming and intimate resort located four blocks from the many fascinating historic sites and wonderful restaurants of downtown Oaxaca. The resort, located within a lovingly restored 19th-century Oaxacan home, reflects the culture of this fascinating city. Authentic Oaxacan art hangs from sun-dried clay walls, making Casa Divina Oaxaca truly feel like a home away from home. Oaxaca is a historic and cultural marvel famous for its spectacular architecture and delicious food. Immerse yourself in this magical place at Casa Divina Oaxaca.
Easter facts around the world:
Greece and Latin American countries: In past eras, people in these countries created and burned effigies of Judas, the Apostle who betrayed Jesus in the Bible.
Sweden: Children create paintings and drawings. They then dress up as “Easter witches” (a more colorful version of the typical American witch costume) and walk around their neighborhoods, exchanging the artwork for candy and other treats.
Germany: The Germans burn their Christmas trees during Easter. This symbolizes the death of winter and the arrival of spring. Germany is also responsible for the legend of the Easter Bunny or osterhase; this came from the ancient Anglo-Saxon festival honoring the spring goddess Eastre, whose symbol was a rabbit.
Norway: During the Easter season, Norwegians read mystery novels and watch crime/detective-themed TV shows in the spirit of the Passkekrim, or “Easter-crime”, season.
Bermuda: For Bermudans, Good Friday is particularly special. The inhabitants of this Atlantic island nation create homemade kites and eat codfish cakes. The kites come from an old tale in which a British soldier used a kite to explain the Christian concept of the Ascension; they are traditionally made with colorful tissue paper, wood, metal, and string.