Easter in Mexico is a very special time of year and Guadalajara is no exception there.
The majority of Mexicans are Catholic. So during Easter week (Semana Santa) many Mexicans will pack up their bags and go out of town or visit the nearest Mexican beach to celebrate the most holiest of days.
In fact, my brother in law is heading off to Cancun, Mexico as I write this article during Easter time, so there you go.
So if you ever decide to visit anywhere in Mexico, you can bet there will be traffic on the roads, especially during Mexican Easter celebrations.
In addition, the cities might also be emptier than usual because everyone will pretty much close up shop to celebrate the extra long holiday which lasts about a week.
Read more about the huge celebration that occurs every year in October at the Church of Zapopan (Basilica de Zapopan) pictured above.
So How is Easter in Mexico Celebrated?
Beginning of Easter Holiday
The beginning of the Easter season starts with Ash Wednesday
(Miercoles de Ceniza)
Typically, no red meat is eaten and Mexicans will go to church and receive the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ashes.
40 days of making a sacrifice.
Mexican Easter Traditions
How Easter in Mexico is Celebrated
Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos)
On Palm Sunday, churchgoers will head to mass. Outside of the churches there will usually be lots of vendors (Of course) selling elaborately designed palms for a few pesos.
These palms are blessed inside by the priest and are usually hung on the doors of Mexicans. Although in Guadalajara they are usually hung inside.
This is usually the time you'll see the city emptier than usual, because everybody starts leaving town on holiday.
Although it would seem to be a nice time to visit, take note that many shops and tourist places will probably be closed.
Holy Thursday (Jueves Santo)
The Last Supper
Antonio has informed me that it's a tradition in Mexico and Guadalajara as well to visit 7 different churches and say a little prayer in each one.
So why 7 churches?
That I'm not too sure of and neither was he.
Shame on him for not knowing.. being Mexican and all! ;-)
But I do know that in Guadalajara this task is not as hard as it sounds, because there is a church on almost every other block.
Outside of the churches (templos) it's a tradition in Guadalajara for vendors to sell empanadas stuffed with either tuna, strawberry or some other tasty fruit or fish.
Good Friday (Viernes Santo)
The day Jesus was crucified.
The (Via Cruzes) or Stations of the Cross is usually reenacted and can be quite elaborate in some towns.
Usually red meat should not be eaten, so seafood and nopales (cactus) are very popular. There will be lots of specials in the restaurants selling nopales and even fish tacos.
Inside the churches you'll usually see all the statues and images covered with purple cloth to represent a time of mourning or (luto).
Saturday (Sabado Santo)
Usually the early Easter celebration is started at nighttime on Saturday. There will be a mass to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, it's usually a mass that is longer than normal.
Easter Sunday (Domingo de Resurrección or Pascua)
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is the end of the Holy Week and Lent.
Easter in Mexico is a wonderful time to spend with family.
Just remember if you're traveling to Mexico during Easter, there will also be quite a bit of traffic on the roads (especially on Sunday) as everyone is coming home from their Mexican Easter celebrations.