Semana Santa (Holy Week)

Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Semana Santa (Holy Week)

HolyFiguresinCotacachiHolyFiguresinCotacachi

In South America people come together when they want to celebrate and honor the important things in life. Parades and processions are a part of the fabric of society that holds everyone together. Traditions which have been kept for generations are still followed today and are valued much.  Unlike North Americas who tend to hold individuality, material possessions and obsession with things and appearances above all else. It is a refreshing contrast to be able to experience the unity and harmony among people who place that which is greater than themselves above all.  People in Ecuador are religious.  For many North Americans who generally either have no religion or belong to churches which are un-accepting of those different than themselves, it is quite amazing to see and experience the routine practices of those who come together to honor God and to express their love of the divine aspects of life.

Holy Week or Semana Santa is the week preceding Easter.  During that week there are always processions. Many of the processions feature a holy figure which is usually kept in a local church but is taken out during holy week and are carried on elevated platforms through the streets.  The figures are always carried on the shoulders of several men so that they are visible to all and are honored by being held above. These displays honor the saint or holy personage and they represent  divinity and the blessings received from the Holy Spirit.

The featured image shows procession figures seen at the steps of the grand cathedral La Matriz in Cotacachi, Ecuador on Palm Sunday 2014.

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