Semana Santa in Latin America


One of the most important religious celebrations in Latin America is Holy Week, known as Semana Santa. The celebrations begin on Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) and continues through Good Thursday (Jueves Santo), Good Friday (Viernes Santo), and finally Easter Sunday (Pascua or Domingo de Resurrección).

Many activities occur throughout the week such as processions, religious ceremonies and public festivities. In many communities, the full Passion Play is enacted from the Last Supper, the Betrayal, the Judgment, the Procession of the 12 Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion and, finally, the Resurrection. Those that participate are in full costume.

Many cities such as Ayacucho in Peru and Ouro Breto in Brazil are well known for their Seman Santa celebrations.  In Venezuela, the religious observances appear to be secondary to the holiday spirit, as people flock to the beaches for fun. However, there are still many processions and the re-enactments of the Last Days.