Easter in Mexico
In Mexico, Easter consists of two weeks and two different festivals; Semana Santa, Holy Week - Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday, and Pascua the period from Easter (Resurrection) Sunday to the following Saturday. This is a popular time for people go on holiday. Many people visit their family and friends around the country.
Semana Santa is often celebrated more than Pascua.
Semana Santa starts with Palm Sunday. People buy special elaborately woven palms from outside churches, and worshipers follow the priest into the Church with their woven palms. After the service, the palms are traditionally hung on the doors of Mexican houses to ward off evil.
During Semana Santa, many towns and villages re-enact the events of Holy week using Passion Plays. It is an honour to play Jesus in the play, and the person has to prepare for a whole year before Easter. The actor also has to be very fit as he has to carry a cross that weighs about 200lbs.
The most famous passion play takes place in the town of Iztapalapa where every one in the town is involved in the play in some way. The first passion play was performed in Iztapalapa in 1833 following a cholera epidemic.
In some places there are also early morning parades on each morning of Holy Week, with Good Friday being the most sombre. Large status of Jesus and Mary are carried through the streets.
On Easter Sunday morning, the start of Pascua, there is great celebration. Many people in Mexico are Catholics and they will go to Church for the special Easter Day Mass. Some towns have a fun fair type atmosphere in the town plaza (or square) after the morning service with food stall, toys and even fun fair rides!