10 Curious Facts about Semana Santa in Mexico
One of the most important dates in the religious calendar in Mexico is undoubtedly Holy Week, or Semana Santa ni Spanish. Here we share 10 curious facts about these days of spirituality and celebration in Mexico:
1- This celebration begins on Sunday (April 10, this year 2022), is celebrated on Good Thursday and Good Friday, Glory Saturday and ends on Resurrection Sunday (when the Easter celebration begins), taking place in different ways throughout and width of Mexico.
2- The celebration has its origins in the pilgrimages to the places of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, which took place between the 4th and 5th centuries.
3- You don’t eat meat. Do you know why? It is because the felifreses honored the penance that Jesus did by wandering 40 days in the desert fasting, according to the Bible.
Another explanation is that meats are replaced not by color but by essences. Well, they consider that red meat is linked to the mundane, while white meat is considered volatile and cold-blooded that comes from aerial or aquatic animals.
4- In some places, it is better known as Easter. Although in Mexico we usually call it ‘Holy Week’, in the rest of the world they are better known as simply ‘Easter’. The term comes from Hebrew and could be translated as the ‘end of fasting’ that occurs during Lent. However, Easter only refers to Resurrection Sunday, while ‘Holy Week’ encompasses the days before.
5- Days off? Although Holy Week 2022 is not within the mandatory rest holidays in Mexico, it includes non-business days for banks and is part of the school vacation period, for some companies, the days off are granted as a tradition.
According to article 74 of the Federal Labor Law, none of the days of Semana Santa 2022 are official holidays, so they are not days off.
6- Glory Saturday was celebrated by throwing water. Not long ago, in Mexico and some other places, the “Saturday of Glory” was celebrated by throwing water at all those who crossed the path, but this tradition was dissolved due to the excessive waste of the liquid, essential for life.
7- It coincides with pre-Hispanic festivity. Holy Week coincides, according to experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), coincides in the ancient indigenous calendar, with the month of Huey tozoztli.
It is said that in this period, the population honored the gods of corn Centéotl and Chicomecóatl, masculine and feminine duality, to whom the Mexicas offered ears of the previous year, to turn them into seed.
8- There is no fixed date. The date on which Jesus died, according to Muy Interesante magazine, was April 7. However, Christians do not commemorate that fixed date.
The date is changed depending on Easter, so the date of all the days of celebration depends on the day on which “the first full moon of spring” is expected.
9- Easter holidays in Mexico. At Easter, it is not only about religion but also about holidays. The lucky ones (preschool, primary and secondary students) will be on Easter vacation starting April 11, 2021. According to the SEP 2022 School Calendar, students will return from Easter vacation until Friday April 22, 2022.
10- Impact of Holy Week on tourist destinations. The tourist destinations of Mexico, mainly on the beach, register considerable influxes of tourists every year (except for the last ones due to the pandemic). Although it is a religious celebration, it is the perfect occasion for Mexicans to visit the beach, and without a doubt, Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit are one of the favorite destinations.
It receives approximately six million tourists a year and it is not for less: the deep blue color of its waters, as well as the beauty of its sands, its food and its traditions, make the stay even more enjoyable.
Did you know all these curious facts?