Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Week in Colombia

Photo by Colombian soul

The week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday in all Catholic-leaning societies is called Holy Week, Semana Santa in Spanish. The end of the sacrificial season of Lent, the start of which is commemorated lustily with Carnival, offers the faithful their chance to celebrate with pageantry, color, and prayer, Christ's resurrection from the dead. In Colombia, as in most Latin American countries, it is in the small towns where Christian beliefs hold tightest, and where the most elaborate expressions of devotion are displayed by front-pew matrons and back-door backsliders alike.

The two largest celebrations are in Mompox, the steamy river station upstream from the Caribbean seaport at Cartagena, and Popayán, the white-washed grande dame of colonial cities in the southwest of the country. Both events are marked by daily masses, processions involving robed participants, and re-enactments of the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, witnessed by thousands of pilgrims from all over.

I, being the heathen my mother hoped I wouldn't turn out to be, will be celebrating this work-free week solemnly reading, writing, watching DVDs, and hitting the gym.


Fly Girl said...

What? You're not going to mass or at least witness any of the resurrection processions? After all that pre-lenten celebration you did in Brazil? Heathen indeed.

As for the group, I think you have to join linked in and then become a member of the group but here's the link:

Fly Girl said...

The name of the group is Brazil Travel and Tourism, if that link doesn't work.

Ms. Wooden Shoes said...

Fly Girl put you on blast Fly Brother about not celebrating Easter. Hopefully you'll change your mind and have a wonderfully written post about some of the Easter celebrations...

'Drea said...

A fellow heathen salutes your work-free plans which sound like a proper and first-class devotion.

Fly Brother said...

Fly Girl: If a church don't play no gospel music, I can't go. That's my rule. I can listen to Enigma when I want chanting.

Ms. Shoes: Yeah, she called me out. Most people here travel over the holiday, and I was so beat from the job I could only drag it out to the gym and back. Keeping body together, at least.

Drea: Thank you for joining me in heathenism (hedonism?). We'll need a nice pitcher of ice water where we're going, I'm sure.