October 18, 2018, 2:55 am
If you’re looking to take part in some good old’ fashioned egg hunting for Easter, Colombia probably isn’t your spot. But if you want to experience culture and traditional activities during an important religious holiday, then you should spend Easter in Colombia.
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, starts Monday April 10 and lasts until Sunday April 16 (Easter). That may seem like a long time from now, but April will be here sooner than you think, so it’s best to plan a trip to Colombia now. Thursday April 13, Friday April 14 and Sunday April 16 are official holidays in Colombia, meaning most people won’t go to work and schools will be closed.
There are so many wonderful Colombian cities that highlight Holy Week. Here are just a few:
If you want the traditional Carnival experience – complete with costumes, parades, and music – you should head to Barranquilla. This Colombian coastal city is known for going all out for Carnival. It’s important to remember that Carnival officially starts on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday and ends the following Tuesday, but the excitement of this colorful event starts long before Holy Week. Carnival shouldn’t be the only reason to head to Barranquilla, as the city has a fun tropical ambience and pretty beaches.
Popayán is known as the “White City” because of its beautiful whitewashed colonial buildings. During Holy Week, a processional make its way through those picturesque buildings to celebrate the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. People in Popayán walk through the cobblestone streets depicting the different stages of Jesus’ last days. This religious display will certainly be an event you will remember for a very long time.
This small city closest to Villa de Leyva is known as the religious capital of Colombia. That’s because an old, worn painting depicting Mary holding baby Jesus was said to have miraculously become like new. That picture is now displayed at the Basílica de la Virgen in Chiquinquirá. The grand basilica is gorgeous and people always flock to see the sacred painting. The week leading up to Easter is a great time to check out Chiquinquirá.
Mompox is another city that hosts a religious processional during Holy Week. The town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the northern part of Colombia. It’s also home to historic churches that Colombians visit during Holy Week. Between the lively processionals and beautiful architecture, you’ll want to visit Mompox.
Obviously, most of the Holy Week celebrations in Colombia revolve around religion since it is a Christian holiday. You don’t have to be a devout Christian to enjoy the festivities. If you are not religious, simply take the time to observe the culture and rituals so many Colombians cherish.
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