Semana Santa in
San Miguel de Allende
Easter in Mexico is a Pageant of
Passion and Faith
T o experience Semana Santa in San Miguel de Allende is to feel the full force of Mexico's Catholic heritage and the deep hold it has on the hearts of her people. This is the most awe-inspiring time to visit San Miguel.
All over Mexico, Holy Week and Easter are celebrated as significant religious holidays. Processions, altars and "Passion Plays" reenacting the last days of Christ are performed in several cities. The traditions go back several centuries.
In fact, by 1900 the practice of these Semana Santa festivites in Mexico had become so widespread and "corrupted" that the Archbishop of Mexico banned them. In a circular to the clergy, he noted the "burlesque of the solemn scenes attending the trial and death of the Saviour" and ordered them abolished. Fortunately, the abolition didn't stick.All photos this page are from Tears from the Crown of Thorns, by Charlotte Bell. Used with permission.
For more images from this beautiful book about Holy Week in San Miguel, or to order a copy, visit Charlotte Bell's website.
Holy Week and San Miguel—A Special Reverence
Almost nowhere in Mexico is Semana Santa recognized with such reverence, tradition and awe as in San Miguel de Allende. Visitors both devout and curious come from all over Mexico (and the world) to experience the intense emotion of these observances of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.
Despite the crowds, this is not a tourist show. These Holy Week ceremonies are deeply felt statements of faith. Many of the rituals go back centuries. It is a privilege to be allowed to observe them—and even participate if your faith leads you to do so.
In Mexico, Easter observations are a package deal—not just a day or even a week. In San Miguel de Allende, Semana Santa or Holy Week, is not really a "week." The pageantry leading up to the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday actually begins two weeks before Easter and continues into the week after.
Banks and most other businesses not catering to tourists will be closed on Good Friday. Some may also close on Thursday and Saturday of that week.
In addition to being a religious holiday, Holy Week in Mexico is also a vacation time for many Mexicans. (I'm told Mexico City becomes a virtual ghost town.) Millions head to the popular beach resorts, but more than a few will come to San Miguel. Restaurants and accommodations in San Miguel will be crowded. If you plan to visit, book hotels well in advance. Check the San Miguel Hotels Directory for possibilities.
NOTE: The dates for Semana Santa 2009 are April 3-12.
Click on the links below for a day-by-day outline of the pageantry and glory of the Semana Santa Observances in San Miguel de Allende.
Holy Week: Our Lord of the Column
Holy Week: Friday of Sorrows
Holy Week: Palm Sunday
Holy Week: Mid-Week Observances
Holy Week: Good Friday
Holy Week: Easter Sunday
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