Where to Find the Best Easter (Pascua) Celebrations in Mexico
Easter is one of the most celebratory times in Mexico. The best, most interesting, and historical traditions can be found in towns throughout its countryside. Most of the traditional events take place during Semana Santa, the week leading up to Easter.
Semana Santa or Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, and hosts the best events of the season. Expect great food, parades, dancing, reenactments,games, fireworks, and Catholic masses. Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos), Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo), Good Friday (Viernes Santo), and Holy Saturday (Sabado de Gloria) all take place during Semana Santa.
Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos)
On Domingo de Ramos many Mexican townspeople will reenact Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey before his death, and lay palm fronds in his path.
Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo)
Jueves Santo celebrates the Last Supper, the washing of the apostles’ feet, and Jesus’ arrest.
Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
On Viernes Santo you’ll find the reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion and processions with the Virgin Mary.
Holy Saturday (Sabado de Gloria)
Sabado de Gloria is the day when many Mexican towns perform the Burning of the Judas traditions. Cardboard or paper mache subjects are made to look like Judas, Satan, and sometimes even political figures. They are marched through the streets and then burned or blown up with fireworks.
Where will you find the best and most interesting Semana Santa celebrations?
You will find them in most towns and villiages in Mexico, but you can count on having experiences you won’t forget in the following Mexican towns.
The Tarahumara indigenous peoples, in the State of Chihuahua, have kept their original Easter traditions for almost 400 years. During this week they celebrate their dependence on God. All Semana Santa activities are centered on the conflict between good and evil. Everyone is an active participant in the celebration’s processions and dances; there are no spectators.
In the small town of Cholula, outside of Puebla, intricate tapestries made from sand and flower petals decorate the ground of the town square. On Good Friday, a large procession makes its way through the square, carrying religious figures and stepping through the sand and petals.
The largest reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ takes place in this small town just outside, and south of, Mexico City. Called Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross), it attracts around a million people every year.
San Luis Potosi
The city of San Luis Potosi mourns the Passion of Christ with the Procession of the Silence. The entire city mimics a gigantic church during this march. And you will hear only the sounds of drums and bugles. Members of various religious brotherhoods carry large platforms with religious images while marching through silent streets, full of spectators.
San Miguel Allende
In San Miguel Allende, Holy Week includes the ‘Burning of the Judases’ celebration. With Spanish influences, the ritual involves giant paper mache Judases, who are painted like disliked social and political figures. They are then sentenced to be hung and blown up with fireworks.
Other places with notable Semana Santa celebrations include Mexico City, Taxco, Oaxaca City, Copper Canyon, and Huatulco.
Pascua begins on Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua) and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and the days before he ascended to heaven. In Mexico, this involves another week of celebrations, mostly with family.
Mexicans generally have one or both of these weeks off work, schools are closed, and many businesses are closed. Many Mexican-Americans travel to Mexico to be with family, as well.
This is a special time of year in Mexico and the U.S. ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!