Lent in Oaxaca
Every year, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues with Friday in the El Llano Park, Good Samaritan Day, Friday of Sorrows, Palm Sunday and this season ends with Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
This season takes place in March or April, depending on how the calander falls.
Friday in the El Llano Park
Each Friday after Ash Wednesday, the school children gather in the El Llano Park and the girls recieve roses, violets, jazmine or other flowers from friends and boy friends.
During these mornings of spring, there is always a band playing from a local school, a marimba band or banda music played by a local band.
Good Samaritan Day
Based on the passage of the Bible where a woman (the good samaritan) offers water to Jesus, this custom in Oaxaca of offering refreshments to people is practiced in many of the local churches, business establishments, schools, and public institutions.
Many different flavors of juice are offered like horchata, jamaica, chilacayota, tamarindo and many others.
The areas where the juice is offered is decorated with beautiful paper figures, palms and items adorning the area.
Friday of Sorrow
This catholic tradition is celebrated on this day when we remember the suffering of the Virgin Mary and the passion and death of Jesus.
Like the old custom, an Altar of Sorrows is set up in the many churches around town and also in many private homes.
The altar is made up of paintings or sculptures of the Virgin Mary with crosses y many other symbolic items.
Local artisans make wonderful figures out of palms and these items can be bought and then blessed in local churches.
Many of these artisans sell their creations in front of the many churches in town. The two most popular churches to purchase these items are the Cathederal and the Basilica de La Soledad.
There is a Procession of the Palms in the Xochimilco neighborhood.
This week is celebrated by the Passion of our Jesus starting on Holy Thursday with the washing of the feet and the last supper.
Many of the local churches display immages of the last supper and other immages of this holy event.
In the neighborhoods of Xochimilco, Jalatlaco, Ex-Marquesado, areas in Xoxocotlan and various other sites around the valley, they celebrate the encounters. In these are the Passion and Death of Jesus.
They end the day with the weight and sorrow and the image of the Virgin of La Soledad leaves in procession from the main altar in the Basilica de La Soledad.
The Silent Procession is a very powerful event that is celebrated by the local churches and proceedes through the streets in the center during Holy Week.
This really is an event that you must experience. Since 1987, this procession starts at the Sangre de Cristo church at the corner of Bravo & Alcala.
With it`s drums of ancient rythym, the procession proceedes in silence through the main streets in the historical center, the image of Jesus on the cross, fourteen children all carrying crosses that represent the stations of the cross, many other life sized statues of many saints and symbolic images from many of the churches in the city. People walking bare foot as they proceede in silence.
It is best to arrive at Santo Domingo church on the Alcala street an hour before the event is scheduled to begin as you can see the statues up close and take some fabulous photos.
The church bells ring with all glory as the resurection of Jesus is celebrated.
They begin ringing at midnight Saturday to announce that Jesus has risen and continue ringing throughout the night.
Easter Sunday concludes the festivities that surround the season of lent in Oaxaca.