Semana Santa, also well-known as divine Week, is the final week of Lent, i m sorry culminates on Easter Sunday. This spiritual celebration has actually a longstanding, profound impact on Latin America and Spain; in fact, the whole week of semana santa is officially a holiday! For some people, this is a time that prayer, meditation, and ritual. Others take it it together an opportunity to travel or to take it a well-deserved break.Today, let’s look at part traditions and stories regarded Viernes Santo or an excellent Friday, which is hands-down the most crucial day of divine Week here in central America.

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Why Is great Friday Important?

Good Friday, or Viernes Santo (meaning “Holy Friday”), is canonically thought about to be the job of Jesus’s crucifixion. The is a day of mourning because that Christians almost everywhere the world, a day come remember the grief his pendant must have actually felt during that bleak time.

Why is holy Week ~ above a Different day Each Year?

A concern that arises once reading increase on Lent and also Viernes Santo (Good Friday) is: Why perform we commemorate the day of Jesus’s death on a different date each year? The prize is deceptively simple.


The Gregorian calendar, the calendar we usage today, was conceived over 1500 years after Jesus’s death.

Plenty that debate and also speculation surrounds his specific date that death, v theories that use astronomy, moon patterns, archives of spiritual celebrations, and Apostle accounts to shot and decide the precise moment the his death. However, we deserve to understand that the factor why it’s constantly on a different date is because calendars were different (and much less accurate) earlier then.


In both Spain and Latin America, procesiones are the bread and butter of Semana Santa celebrations. I’m going to talk around them shortly, so ns recommend giving our write-up on divine Week a rapid read therefore you’re up to speed on what procesiones are and how castle work!

Legend that the Jacaranda in Guatemala

In Guatemala, holy Week is a large deal. The cobblestone roadways of Antigua get awe-inspiring makeovers, and religious practitioners and also tourists alike flock to this picturesque worldwide town. Among the many Holy week folktales, yes sir one revolving around the Jacaranda tree. The story go something like this:

Once ~ above a an excellent Friday, cloudy weather mantled the skies together acolytes lugged the statue of Jesus throughout the town streets to commemorate his death. It was a work of sadness and also mourning, who stillness was damaged by the emotion of water droplets falling on the acolytes’ foreheads and shoulders. Their sadness conveniently turned right into alarm, for they had to protect Jesus and also his long, violet robe from the impending rainfall.

The only shelter they can find was an old, dried out Jacaranda tree. They easily gathered every the blankets, tablecloths, and also sheets they could find to put over the tree and also protect the valuable statue. The rain fell swift and hard, and also it ended as conveniently as it had actually come. As soon as the acolytes gotten rid of the sheets from the tree, they to be amazed to view that the once dry branches were currently brimming with life. Then, the Jacaranda’s purple flowers dropped upon the acolytes and the statue. The tree was weeping with the people, for nature likewise mourned the pass of Christ.

And that is why on Semana Santa every year, the Jacarandas are in bloom and also carpet the roads with their flowery tears.

Moral Lessons and Oral Traditions

It’s no secret that grandparents have actually plenty of wisdom to share with us, and also Latin American grandparents have actually a special way to convey your teachings. Not just do lock use renowned Latino proverbs, yet they likewise use superstition come educate their grandkids. While some of these rituals have religious roots, others are used as avenues to teach a child just how to behave.

Religious Traditions

On Viernes Santo at 3:00 p.m., most Catholics will certainly say a prayer to commemorate Jesus’s passing, since that’s the moment of fatality that’s generally agreed upon. Particular guidelines take result afterward, like staying clear of contact v water for the rest of the day.

Prior to Jesus’ resurrection, many thought that evil would be set loosened upon the world. It is why everyone had actually strict rules about what come eat and also how come behave. All family members chores had actually to it is in done before Viernes Santo, no meat to be to be eaten, and also fasting was a common practice amongst Catholics.

Old Superstitions

Some the the old Semana Santa traditions room remnants the Latin America’s social heritage. For example, they supplied to say the cutting her hair top top Viernes Santo would for sure a healthy, lengthy mane because that the rest of the year. Practices like this to be common prior to colonization, for this reason it’s not far-fetched come think several of these were the an outcome of the indoctrination that Catholic religion right into the native cultures of the American continent.

Worse yet, youngsters who would stick their tongue out or raise their hand to hit someone would be told the their limbs would certainly turn right into snakes or loss off. This is a common, though fairly ineffective tactic come teach the children how come behave, and also these kinds of silly rules seeped into Viernes Santo. Fortunately, they room not as prevalent now as they to be 30-40 year ago.

Similarities and Differences between Spain and also Latin America

Since Catholic tradition was carried to Latin America by colonizers 5 centuries ago, the no surprise that many of our traditions are nearly identical. In Spain, they additionally celebrate with processions and spiritual celebrations.

The distinction lies largely in the surname of things and kinds of food eaten during this time. For example, if friend recall indigenous our divine Week post, we contact our float carriers cucuruchos, while in Spain castle are described as costaleros.

Also, egg hunts and the arrival of the Easter hare are means more significant in Spain 보다 in Latin America. In my experience, I just see the Easter rabbit in grocery save marketing projects every year! This may also be due to culture, because Spain is closer to north Europe 보다 we are, and also it’s speculated the that’s whereby the Easter hare was originally conceived.

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How room You Going come Celebrate Viernes Santo?

At the time of writing, Guatemala is at this time on lockdown since of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have actually a curfew and also everything! This means that on holy Week (April 5-12), most of us space going to stay at residence with our families. Also if you’re no religious, you deserve to still gain some high quality time through loved ones.

If you desire to placed your time at residence to great use, consider taking a totally free class with Homeschool Academy. Many of ours teachers room Antigua residents and they have the right to tell you all about their suffer with divine Week. Mental to continue to be home and stay safe!