Easter, or “Pascua”, as we call it in Mexico, is one of the most widely celebrated and important religious holidays of the year. On these days, Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after crucifixion. Though major Easter customs and traditions remain the same throughout the world, there are variations of celebrations in each country and local tradition.
Easter celebrations in Mexico are a fusion of Christian rituals and native indigenous traditions. Back in the days of the Colony, the Christian missionaries as a part of their effort to convert locals, non-Christians, to Christianity, allowed indigenous people to blend their customs with Easter rites, and many of these customs appear in passion plays.
Easter in Mexico is celebrated through a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week – Palm Sunday or Domingo de Ramos to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday). On Palm Sunday people elaborate creative offerings usually in the shape of crosses with woven palms. Weavers ply their craft outside churches, and worshipers follow the priest into church with the woven fronds. Later, those palms are traditionally hung on the doors of Mexican homes to ward off evil.
Mexico has a variety of traditional Easter customs, many of them deriving from Spain, with a diversity of traditions linked to particular regions and cities.
The Easter season begins on Miércoles de Ceniza (Ash Wednesday) and continues through Cuaresma (Lent), the 40-day period until Semana Santa (Holy Week).
In Mexico, there are certain foods associated with Cuaresma, some of which developed as a result of Catholic dietary rules. Since red meat was prohibited on certain days, fish-based dishes became popular Lenten foods. Ironically, Catholics were forbidden to eat red meat on certain days as a sacrifice, yet the rules promoted the development of fish-based dishes just as elaborate, if not more so, than the red-meat based dishes they replaced.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) begins on Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday), the day of Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. The Last Supper was held on Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday).
Viernes Santo (Good Friday) commemorates the day of Christ’s crucifixion. Sábado de Gloria (Holy Saturday) memorializes the full day Christ was in the tomb. Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday) celebrates the Resurrection of Christ.
On Domingo de Ramos, vendors outside churches sell woven palm leaves, and inside the priest blesses them. On Jueves Santo, Viernes Santo, Sabado de Gloria, and Domingo de Pascua, there is a special mass each day. On Sábado de Gloria, statues of Mary are covered with black dresses, because she is considered to be in mourning.
In Mexico elementary schools, middle schools and high school students have a two-week vacation, the weeks preceding and following Easter Sunday.
Most businesses are closed on Thursday (Maundy Thursday) afternoon and the entire day on Good Friday. In Los Cabos though, Easter is the time when our vacation rental Villas, hotels, beaches and streets get full of tourists and visitors, who come to enjoy their spring break in our beautiful beach town. On mentioned days usually only banks and governmental businesses are closed, most of other businesses like grocery stores, department stores, restaurants and night clubs are open. If you plan a special activity in Los Cabos during Easter holiday season, please contact your concierge for exact information on open businesses and activities available.
In Los Cabos, you will find spring break and Easter holiday activities for the entire family, and for any family members’ desire: from relaxing time, to vacations full of adventures; from golfing at some of the most amazing courses in the world, luxury yachting, sport fishing, surfing & SUP, snorkeling, exploring adjacent towns, enjoying farm to table cuisine, night entertainment and more… All of this (and more) can be found in Los Cabos.
Happy Easter holidays, or as we say Felices Pascuas!
We hope to see you in Los Cabos soon!
For more information on Cabo San Lucas vacation rentals, rates and packages, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at: USA Toll Free: 888-264-1827; USA: 619-819-6178 or within Mexico: 624-105-9100.
Photo credits: Jesus and Woven Palm Leaves.