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Easter in Mexico, Semana Santa and Pascua: a Mexican holiday resource page Index Page

The Crucifixion.
The Crucifixion.
For Mexico, the Easter holidays are a combination of Semana Santa (Holy Week — Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Resurrection Sunday until the following Saturday). For most Mexicans, this 2 week period is the time of year for holiday vacations (good time to not be on the highways — just stay put and enjoy the community of your choice during this holday season). Holy Week celebrates the last days of the Christ's life. Easter is the celebration of the Christ's Resurrection. It is also the release from the sacrifices of Lent. read more

Huichol religion under siege (again). Part 1 Ronald A. Barnett ©

The Huichol Indians of Jalisco and Nayarit have accomplished the almost incredible feat of maintaining their independence and most of their traditional values well into the 21st century. Thanks to the rugged terrain of the Sierra Madre mountains the Huichols were able to escape the brunt of the Spanish invasion. While their long-anticipated demise as a separate indigenous people has not yet arrived, new warning signs continue to appear on the horizon and the Huichol continue to be under siege by both secular and religious authorities. read more

Tears from the Crown of Thorns: The Easter Passion Play in San Miguel de Allende Reviewed by Allan Cogan

"People unfamiliar with the Latin culture are curious, confused, and sometimes repulsed by the emphasis on suffering in religious figures. During Easter in North America, the focus is on the resurrection and the delights of spring. The event is concerned with the awe of transformation. There is resistance to facing the suffering that is a major part of this epic…." read more

Night of the altars in San Miguel de Allende Edythe Anstey Hanen

It is late afternoon in Mexico, two days before Palm Sunday, and it is the day that honours Nuestra Señora de los Dolores — Our Lady of Sorrows. All over town, San Miguel de Allende's families and b... read more

Lenten traditions in Oaxaca: Our Lady of Sorrows Tara Lowry

A life-sized Virgin Mary statue with imploring, heaven-raised eyes welcomed me into the courtyard of my favourite café in Oaxaca, Mexico. Dozens of what looked to me to be chia pets surrounded her. Wh... read more

Dressing Baby Jesus: Dia de la Candelaria in Oaxaca Tara Lowry

All around town, people are carrying babies. It takes me a moment to realize, (mostly because they are swaddled in blankets) that they are not real babies but dolls. Then it takes me another moment and... read more

Paying tribute to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oaxaca Tara Lowry

The Mestiza Madonna. La Virgen Ranchera. The Queen of the Americas. Mystical Rose… no matter what name she is called, one thing is for sure: the beloved Virgin of Guadalupe is the mother of all Mexic... read more

Easter in San Miguel de Allende: Our Lord of the Column Edythe Anstey Hanen

The church bells have been tolling most of the night, interrupted only intermittently by the blast of rockets soaring into the night sky. One resounding boom echoes throughout the city at midnight. Thi... read more

Good Friday in San Miguel de Allende Carol Wheeler

Holy Week — from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday — is observed throughout Mexico. However San Miguel de Allende's fervor and pageantry are some of the most powerful and beautiful. The image of E... read more

Benedict XVI: the Pope in Mexico makes Catholic news Daniel Wheeler

Pope Benedict XVI makes his first visit to Mexico this month, which is important news in this predominantly Catholic nation. Appropriately, his visit — from March 23 to the 26th — coincides with Lent, the 40 days before Easter dedicated to reflection and repentance.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II visited Mexico on five occasions and was much beloved here. I was just a child during the last papal visit in 2002, a rowdy little Catholic boy who wanted to be a rock star when I grew up. read more

Guadalupe: La Virgen Indigena Dale Hoyt Palfrey

virgin of guadalupe Our Lady of Guadalupe is the beloved patron saint of Mexico and the Americas. Celebrated on December 12, her feast day is a major Mexican holiday. Juan Diego's mantle, carefully preserved in the Basilica, has been subjected to extensive analysis over the years. Experts have authenticated the fabric as dating to the 16th century, but have been unable to determine the type of pigment from which the image was rendered. Most wonderous of all, after 465 years, the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe remains clearly imprinted on the miraculous cloak without visible signs of deterioration. read more

November 2: the Day of the Dead Dale Hoyt Palfrey

Her face is unforgettable and she goes by many names: La Catrina, la Flaca, la Huesuda, la Pelona — Fancy Lady, Skinny, Bony, Baldy. A fixture in Mexican society, she's not some trendy fashion model, but La Muerte — Death. November 1, All Saints Day, and November 2, All Souls Day are marked throughout Mexico by a plethora of intriguing customs that vary widely according to the ethnic roots of each region. Common to all, however, are colorful adornments and lively reunions at family burial plots, the preparation of special foods, offerings laid out for the departed on commemorative altars and religious rites that are likely to include noisy fireworks. read more

The Religious Virgins and Saints of Mexico: las Virgenes y santos de Mexico Index Page

An Index Page of Articles, Images and Resources.

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Silver, saints, and sinners™: Semana Santa in Taxco, Mexico Jim Allen and Jan McHargue

The City of Silver If you have heard of the picturesque, old colonial Mexican town of Taxco at all, you probably associate it with that precious metal so characteristic of Mexico – silver. If you... read more

Personal reminiscences of Mexico's Huichol people IV: Ritual dance Ronald A. Barnett ©


Panoramic view of Teotihuacan looking south from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon. You can see the Pyramid of the Sun.
© Rick Meyer, 2001
In 1996, I attended the Fiesta de las Plantas Medicinales held that year in San Martin de los Piramides not far from the famous archaeological site of Teotihuacan with its pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. There was a feeling of great spiritual power in the air that day. read more

Pilgrimage from San Miguel de Allende to San Juan de los Lagos in 1967 Don Fyfe-Wilson

Founded in 1542, San Juan de los Lagos is set in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, an area distinguished by its devotion to the Roman Catholic faith. The Cathedral there is home to the diminutive image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Concepcion. Late in January, pilgrims on foot can be seen thronging toward the town for the celebration of Candlemas on February 2. read more

Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexican art Carol Wheeler

The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared in Mexico in 1531 to Juan Diego and, as proof of her visit, caused roses to bloom at the site. Because church leaders did not believe he had seen her, she instruc... read more

San Juan de Los Lagos: The Virgin, her basilica, her pilgrims, and their exvotos Richard Ferguson

Exvotos are both very public and extremely personal -- like "thank you notes to God."

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Where Divergent Religious Customs Merge: Death Of An Infant In Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

Between the birth and the death came a crazy-quilt of only-in-Mexico experiences that resonated with my memories Daniel Pérez González was a beautiful baby. His parents Flor and Jo... read more

Jose Garcia Olvera - El Professor De Los Pobres Zofia Barisas

Olvera has been teaching a choir in Santa Ana Tepetitlan, for boys aged six to 13 years old, five days a week for the last 23 years. The first time I hear the choir Ninos Cantores d... read more

Holy Week and Easter Manuel España Ramos

LENT is very important in the lives of all Mexicans who profess the Catholic faith, and in a very special way the people of Ajijic. Lent means a time of penance, conversion, prayer and of ... read more

The Virgin of Guadalupe celebration in Oaxaca Barbara Lyons-Perez

Guadalupe is the mother of all Mexicans, the savior and succor of the indigenous spirit, protectress of the poor, dark, ailing and humble. She is the Dark Madonna of Indian features, who appeared just after the invasion by the white-skinned Europeans. She is miraculous and comforting, the emotional support to a conquered nation, orphaned from their pantheon of gods and spirits of nature. read more

Exvotos: Folk art and expressions of faith in Mexico Richard Ferguson

In Mexico, an exvoto is most commonly a personal thank you note to God. read more
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