Holy Week - Easter - Semana Santa

This is a Christian Catholic celebration that begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts through the entire Lent period. Some villages like San Martin Tilcajete even have their own Carnival of Fat Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday. This is a very colorful event as kids dress up and dart through the streets of their village trying to scare residents that stand to watch them go by and then end up at their main plaza to dance to the rhythm of brass bands that perform while the entire village comes out to watch and participate.

It's traditional that every Friday of Lent, in the Juarez Park of the city, flowers are given out to all ladies of the city and girls compete to see who gets the most. On the 4th Friday of Lent the Samaritan is celebrated, which consists of giving out fruit flavoured water to everyone that walks past any church, school, offices and now even all hotels make some for their guests and anyone walking by. This is a tradition inspired by a Biblical passage from John that mentions how Jesus stopped to rest in the town of Siquiem at a well and then asked a Samaritan woman for some water to drink. She initially refused but once she condescended and gave him a drink this is a fraternal moment representing how a Samaritan shared with a Jew, which is symbol for all of us to follow, to share out of goodwill to all who are in need. This is a highlight of Lent as most church congregations try to make outstanding flavors of local tropical fruits and hire brass bands to play, and it becomes a joyous surprise to go to a church, rest and enjoy some great fruit drinks. On Easter Thursday is traditional for all locals to go out and visit 7 churches, so all of the downtown historic area will be lively with families walking in and out of churches and these will all have special ornaments that day.

On Easter Friday there are traditional reenactments of the crucifixion in many villages, churches and neighborhoods. There are several well organized villages near the city but if you happen to be at any particular village, you'll be surprised at how authentically and proudly everyone carries out their own role. Each year different families rotate the responsibility and privilege of hosting a station of the cross so that as the processions arrive, snacks, music and drinks are offered to rest a bit and then continue. That same afternoon in the city an amazing procession of Silence is organized and proceeds through the main streets of town. This is an impressive procession with floats that are decorated by most city church congregations and enhanced with images of the crucified Christ and the Virgin Mary.