Colombia has more public holidays than any other country in the world (I know, I know, you want to go work in our Bogota office now!). And this week they celebrate Semana Santa – the Holy Week between Palm and Easter Sundays.
While it is a religious holiday, as most in Colombia are, since businesses are closed on Thursday and Friday, many take the opportunity to travel to vacation spots, sit by the beach and, if they are from Bogota, escape the rain! The people of Popayán, the religious center of Colombia, however, celebrate with a festival for processions – dating back 400 years!
Holy Week processions in Popayán are a 400-year long tradition. According to the Spanish chroniclers of the time, religious parades began to appear around 1566; that is, 30 years after the foundation of Popayán. Since that time and up to the present, the right to participate in the procession as an effigy bearer is generally passed from fathers to sons and is considered a privilege.
In the course of the years, the Holy Week processions in Popayán became enriched with the arrival of beautiful images by artists from Spain and Quito who devoted their inspiration to the different scenes of the passion of Christ.
Have you celebrated Holy Week in Popayán? What did you think? How do you normally celebrate the week and your days off of work? Let us know in the comments!
image via the Colombia Travel Flickr Page