If you are planning a trip to Mexico during Holy Week, be prepared. Schools are typically closed for two weeks. This is the Mexican equivalent of the U.S. spring break. This is a popular time for family vacations.
Many Mexican employers give bonuses to their workers during the Easter holiday. So, many families head to the beaches. If you are planning a beach vacation and want to avoid the crowds, plan your trip before or after the Easter season.
If you are not heading to the beach areas, you will not be disappointed. Easter week is full of processions and celebrations. Every town and city celebrates and honors the birth of Christ, but the traditions are not the same across all of Mexico.
Semana Santa is the name for Easter week in Mexico. The Holy week begins the Sunday prior to Easter. This is Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos.) Most communities re-enact Christ’s procession through Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Throughout the remainder of the week, the churches and templos (small parish churches) prepare for the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Many people attend a special mass on Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo.)
The mass on Maundy Thursday takes place in the evening. There is a special mass, in which the oil, water and communion host are blessed. This evening is devoted to reflection upon humility.
On Good Friday (Viernes Santo), no mass is said, but parishioners can partake of the Holy Communion. In some communities the burning of an effigy of Judas on Holy Saturday (Sábado de Gloria) has become popular. However, this is not a widespread custom.
Lastly, the bells of the churches will toll again on Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua,) and families will attend the Easter Vigil.