Easter is an important Christian festival celebrated all over the world. Just like Christmas, Easter is considered to be an important festival and is given a lot of importance. Easter in Mexico is considered to be a very auspicious day as it is marked with the resurrection of Jesus after crucifixion.
People fast for 40 days which is known as Lent and then feast on Easter. During Lent people pray and ask for forgiveness, they also do not eat meat. Easter in Mexico is therefore celebrated with fun and enthusiasm. The actual way of celebrating Easter is the same all over the world.
Easter in Mexico is a blend of native traditions and Christian rituals. During the earlier times in Mexico, the Christian missionaries tried to convert the non-Christian Indians to Christianity. This allowed other people to blend different customs and this can be seen with different cultural celebrations.
In cities like Guadalajara, the age old tradition is falling apart now. Not everyone there follow the old traditions and rituals. Easter in Mexico is celebrated in a different way as compared to the rest of the countries. It combines Semana Santa which is Holy Week- Palm Sunday to Easter Saturday and Pascua which is the Resurrection Sunday till Saturday. Craftsmen weave the palm leaves in crosses and keep it in the church. These palm leaves are then blessed and given to people. The palms are hung on doors and kept in houses to keep evil spirits away.
Many people in Mexico enact the Last Supper, the Betrayal and the Procession of the 12 Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion and then the Resurrection. There are many volunteers who enact this on the stage wearing the traditional costumes and makeup. The preparation starts a couple of months before the Semana Santa- the Holy Week.
In some communities in Mexico, real crucifixion is also done. Among all the events that are done, burning of Judas effigy with lots of firecrackers is the main highlight. In Guadalajara, this custom which is done on Holy Saturday was outlawed in 1960s. The reason being, that many people died because of the explosion but this custom is still followed in a few areas.
Easter in Mexico is a special time for Christian worshippers. Along with following the old tradition and customs, they also indulge in making Easter delicacies. Friends and family members send gifts and brightly colored Easter eggs to each other. Easter bunnies are also given as it is a symbol of life and fertility. Some Easter desserts are cakes, muffins, cookies, different puddings. The main course includes lamb roast and different types of breads.
People during Lent fast for 40 days and refrain from eating meat. Therefore, Easter is a special holiday for people where they can enjoy the festive spirit. Unlike other countries, Easter carnival is not a very big thing. People indulge more in religious activities and preparing for the actual day. Easter in Mexico is the second major festival.