Five impactful Holy Week processions in Mexico

In Mexico, Holy Week processions are moving representations and show the fusion between folklore, religion, and faith, El Universal reports…//

In the Catholic liturgical calendar, Lent this year started on February 14, Ash Wednesday, and ended on March 29, Maundy Thursday.

In Mexico, religious processions and celebrations are the results of syncretism between ancient cultures and the Spanish. The mortification, sacrifice, and physical pain that take place during some of the representations of the Way of the Cross are used to express repentance, redemption, and fulfill promises.

Taxco de Alarcón This is one of the most moving and dramatic religious celebrations, which has been presented since 1949. It starts on Palm Sunday when the worshipers flagellate themselves while they carry crosses, and carry sacred images from one church to another, which are very valuable Baroque pieces. On Thursday, worshipers walk barefoot, carrying heavy crosses while the violin and drums are played. On Friday, the dramatic burial takes place.

Santiago de Querétaro The Procession of Silence has taken place for the last 52 years. It begins at the former convent located in the Hill of the Cross, which is famous for its tree, which has thorns that resemble crosses. The worshipers walk through the town barefoot, covering their faces, carrying chains. The town is adorned with flowers and lanterns. Church music and drum and flute music can be heard. Children dressed as angels also take part in the procession.

San Luis Potosí The Procession of Silence is solemn here, a fusion between Mexican and Spanish cultures. For the last 64 years, worshipers have organized the procession. Dozens of them carry chains and cover their faces, everyone is silent. Women wear black, girls and teenagers wear white and cover their faces. Other women wear Spanish combs and a Spanish veil, while horsemen wear 16th-century costumes. The chants resemble those that take place in Sevilla, Spain.

Oaxaca The procession has been carried out for 32 years. On Good Friday, thousands of candles are placed around the city. Traditional bands play melancholic music, while the worshipers sing. The religious images, an inheritance from colonial times, are dressed with beautiful outfits. There are pre-Hispanic elements present too, including copal, an incense. Women carry statuettes of the Virgin Mary, and men carry their Christ figures.

Tlayacapan, Morelos This town is bordered by mountains, and on Good Friday, the procession is lighted by lanterns and candles. The worshippers carry their religious images, which they rescued after the September 2017 earthquake. The chinelos, dancers who mock the Spanish during the carnivals, play the Náhuatl flute and drums, and women carry incense.

TEXT: El Universal

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