Holy Week observations in other countries

(Pixabay/Skeeze)A girl holds palm leaves on Palm Sunday

Next to Christmas, commemorating the Passion of the Christ is perhaps the second most important celebration for Christians. With a third of the world's population made up of Christians, it is not unlikely that many people will see adherents of the faith observe the Holy Week. But because of the diverse culture that surrounds Christian nations, traditions and celebrations of the Holy Week vary from one country to another.

Mexico

Holy Week is celebrated all over the country, which is predominantly Catholic. Towns such as Patzcuaro, Taxco, Ixtapalapa and San Cristobal de las Casas are famous for believers reenacting the Passion of the Christ days before Easter.

Churches also display the religious images in the streets for people, including tourists, to see, and in lieu of the traditional Easter egg hunt, the nation has "cascarones," colorful egg shells with confetti inside. These "cascarones" are broken on each other's heads during Easter Sunday as a sign of affection.

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Spain

The Spanish are known for having floats paraded around their cities or towns during Holy Week. The floats have different images of the events leading to Christ's death and resurrection and are carried by "costaleros." They are called such because of the "costal" or soft padding they place on the shoulders to bear the weight of the float.

Brazil

Just like other Catholic nations, the Brazilians also celebrate Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week and Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, with a mass and palm leaves blessed by the priest.

The nation also observes the season with the "Procissão do Encontro" which is done every Good Friday. An image of the "Nossa Senhora das Dores" also known as the Virgin of Sorrows is carried by a group of women who will walk around the town or city and at the set place, meet a group of men who have the image of the "Nosso Senhor dos Passos," or what is more known as Jesus carrying the cross.

Philippines

In the city of San Fernando in the northern province of Pampanga in the Philippines, the "Via Crucis" or Way of the Cross is celebrated every Good Friday in a bloody manner with flagellants whipping their backs with ropes covered in thorns to commemorate the bloody scourging of Jesus Christ.

Not only that, these flagellants will continue to a hilltop area under the scorching heat where they will depict the crucifixion of Jesus by being crucified on a cross themselves. Penitents believe that in doing this, their sins are atoned for.

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