Easter in San Miguel de Allende – Semana Santa in Mexico Travel Blog

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Semana Santa in Mexico interesting experience, and Easter week in San Miguel de Allende is a great place to soak it in. In a predominantly Catholic country like Mexico, Semana Santa or “Holy Week,” one of the most sacred times of the year.

There are Easter traditions and celebrations around the country. However, one of the most interesting places to experience Easter in Mexico is in its geographical (and cultural) heart.

_Easter procession 2. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

Easter in San Miguel de Allende

The people of San Miguel de Allende take Semana Santa in Mexico very seriously. Their devotion and passion is a fascinating thing to witness. In fact, people from all over Mexico come to San Miguel de Allende just to see it.

That’s why I’ll use this post to run through few of the events that take place during Easter in San Miguel de Allende. In addition, I’ll talk about why it’s one of the best places to experience Semana Santa in Mexico.

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Semana Santa in Mexico

_In front of exploding Judases. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

_explosion. exploding judas. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

You don’t have to be a true-believer to appreciate Semana Santa in Mexico. It’s a beautiful time to be in the country and see one of the most important weeks of the year for most of the country.

What’s more, it’s a beautiful time to visit Mexico. Spring is arriving, the Jacaranda trees are an explosion of purple blooms (it reminds me a little of hanami season in Japan). The weather is warm and sunny, but with the same cool breezes that you get from high-altitude living. (San Miguel de Allende is 1,900 meters above sea level — that’s 300 meters higher than Denver, the “Mile-High City”).

Cascarones

_cascarones. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

San Miguel de Allende is the best place to experience Semana Santa in Mexico. But before I explain why, let’s give a little shout-out to the Mexican tradition called Cascarones. You’ll find these in San Miguel de Allende at Easter, but also all over the country, as well as any place with large Mexican populations. Cascarones are eggshells with the yolks & eggwhites removed. The shells are cleaned, colored and filled with glitter or other fun stuff like little toys.

What do you do with a glitter- and confetti-filled eggshell? You smash it over someone’s head, of course.

Cascarones are so much fun that they’ve moved beyond Easter and into other celebrations as well. You may see them in weddings, birthdays, or even the Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Mexico.

Easter in SMA: The Best Semana Santa in Mexico

_white and purple flags Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

purple and white decorations_Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

Easter proceedings get started earlier in San Miguel de Allende than most of the country. Semana Santa in Mexico should last a week. In SMA, however, it starts several days earlier, when a statue of Jesus begins its journey from a village several miles away.

Thousands of people follow the statue all the way, sometimes helping to carry it themselves. White and purple designs adorn the path and the city of San Miguel de Allende at Easter. For example, there are white and purple flowers on homes. In addition, intricately decorated white and purple flags adorn the roads.

Many homes set up alters during this time, and we’ve heard that this is a must-see for Semana Santa in Mexico. We missed it this year but there’s much more to tell you below.

Palm Sunday in San Miguel de Allende: Semana Santa in Mexico

Palm Sunday in San Miguel de Allende Mexico. Semana Santa in Mexico

Palm Sunday in San Miguel de Allende Mexico 2 - Semana Santa in Mexico

Easter week officially begins with Palm Sunday. This is when Catholics and other Christians commemorate Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.

Locals sell palm leaves in many folded patterns. At around 11 am, a procession leaves the Parroquia — the beautiful pink gothic cathedral that is the centerpiece of San Miguel de Allende. The star of the procession is a statue of Jesus on the donkey carried by believers. Along the street are palm fronds in various shapes and sizes.  Angelitos — children dressed as angels —walk ahead of the procession sprinkling the ground with chamomile, fragrant herbs and flowers.

[Palm Sunday photos courtesy of Pati Goodell of the Meandering Family]

Good Friday in San Miguel de Allende: Semana Santa in Mexico

_Mary. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

_angelitos. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

I’m going to skip over the mid-week Easter events in the city. They do play an important role in Semana Santa in Mexico. That said, we didn’t see them and I want to get to the spectacle of Good Friday and Easter Sunday in San Miguel de Allende.

Good Friday is often called the “most somber day of Semana Santa in Mexico,” and for good reason. This is the day that represents Jesus’s trial, crucifixion, and death. For this, the participants spare no details. There are no fireworks or church bells today. Only silence.

At around noon, a procession begins from the Parroquia. Led by teams of parishioners wearing crowns of thorns, true believers carry huge statues of the Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and others. These statues are massive, and they carry them on their shoulders.

_Romans. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

_purple & skulls. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

Men dressed as Roman soldiers march solemnly by pushing those set to be crucified forward as they whip them. Then comes men, women, and children in purple robes, carrying skulls and crosses. No one in the parade speaks. No one says a word, and it is powerful.

The Exploding Judas: The Best Part of Semana Santa in Mexico

_judas pinata_Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

Now let’s move on to my favorite tradition of Semana Santa in San Miguel de Allende: the exploding Judas statues. This is what makes Easter in SMA the best place to experience Semana Santa in Mexico.

As you may know, Judas was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. Yet he betrayed Jesus and turned him into the Romans, which led to the death.

On Easter Sunday afternoon, San Miguel de Allende has a little tradition to get revenge on the Bible’s most famous traitor. Over a dozen paper-mache statues hang above on the south side of the town square. These pinata-style figures are adorned with fireworks and rockets.

They’re also stuffed with explosives. Originally, these figures always represented Judas himself. Nowadays, many of these effigies resemble more modern personalities. Some looked like witches. Others resembled any number of despised politicians.

Boom Goes the Judas

_exploding judas 4-pic. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

As the church bells ring, someone lights the fuse of the first figure. It spins and pops twice. On the third spin, it explodes in a colorful riot of cardboard and colored paper. Then they light the fuse of the next figure. And then the next. This goes on for over an hour.

_pieces hands heads. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

By the end, the street is a rainbow-colored disaster area. You’ll see arms and legs strewn here and there, and clouds of colored shreds float in the breeze. Kids and adults run to the scrap heap to salvage and hand or head.

Another Year, Another Semana Santa in Mexico

_easter procession. Easter in San Miguel de Allende - Semana Santa in Mexico

And so ends another Semana Santa in Mexico. San Miguel de Allende is known as a place with many festivals, but Easter week in San Miguel is one of the biggest and most important festivals the city has to offer.

Have you experienced Semana Santa in Mexico? Or Semana Santa in Spain, the Philippines or elsewhere? How does it compare?

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help you enjoy Semana Santa in Mexico. Have you been to San Miguel de Allende Mexico? Tell us about it!

Image Credits: #4,

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