Easter is an old tradition around the world, but no one celebrates it the way Mexicans do. You may think that I am talking about the party and beach events that come along with the Spring Break in Mexico, but no. Mexico is a very fun place, but also a very traditional and catholic country and this time that is what the blog is about.
In Mexico, we celebrate Holy Week and Easter week. For us, it's more important the Holy Week (on Spanish, Semana Santa) because of the very-catholic history this country has -- and it actually is the most important holiday we have, historically speaking; but, even though Mexicans don't look for a rabbit leaving chocolate eggs in the entire city, we celebrate Easter (on Spanish, Pascua) in the Mexican way -- of course.
The "Holy-Week-and-Easter Break" is celebrated for the schools and some business having two labor-free weeks. Holy Week begins the week before Pascua week does, on Palm Sunday. During this week, we celebrate the last days of Christ with elaborate and much anticipated processions, ceremonies, and rituals. Most of the larger Semana Santa celebrations include a dramatic reenactment of the capture, the trial, and the crucifixion of Jesus. To be a part of these productions is a great honor and the actors are known for delivering inspiring and moving performances. Different regions of Mexico are known for practicing unique traditions during Semana Santa such as acts of physical torture, public displays of political/social ridicule, and displays of resolutions and commitment.
The state of Quintana Roo is not the most devoted state in the country, to be honest. The globalization has conquisted this state. But in places like Taxco, the reenactments include Penitentes – men and women who show their penitence and prove their faith by inflicting physical pain on their bodies by whipping themselves or carrying large religious objects on their backs.
Once the sacrifice is made and Jesus rises from the dead, Pascua begins and the second week of the Easter celebration carries on with a brighter tone, reflecting the resurrection, the start of Spring, and the promise of new beginnings. Many Mexican families travel to beach destinations like Cancun and Playa del Carmen during these Easter celebrations to enjoy the coast as they pay tribute.
We highly recommend to visit the "Founders Park" - Parque Fundadores.
Coming to Mexico during Semana Santa can be very interesting. Either if you want to come to the beach or see the parades in Mexico city, I am sure you are going to love it! My only recommendation is to book your trip with 6 months in advance because, otherwise, you can miss this adventure.
We have some travel tips in case you are planning your vacation in Playa del Carmen, or the Riviera Maya in general during Easter.
Prepare yourself for a lot of "fiestas", food, dancing and drinks. You will encounter many family reunions in restaurants, houses and beaches.
You should consider to join a church service so you see the commitment we were talking about earlier in this post. Be there early, since the church will be packed quickly.
Should you stay in a condo and not in an all-inclusive, we highly recommend to do the grocery before Good Friday.
We recommend to decide for one destination and enjoy it, because there is much more traffic during the Holy week as usual, due to the national holidays and the Mexicans enjoying their beautiful country.