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All about Holy Week 2023 - History, Events & Dates

EVENTS | Published on 06/03/2023
Optimizada holy week events

One of the greatest cultural diversities are beliefs, and very few things can deliver insight into a group of people better than getting to observe how their belief are celebrated. While most people are familiar with Mexico’s celebration of the Day of the Dead, another ancient tradition that is an honor to experience is Semana Santa.

Now is your chance to plan a trip down south for Holy Week 2023 to learn about this beautiful celebration of a deeply held religious belief. There is no need to be Catholic or even share in the beliefs in order to enjoy the festivities, and while it is around the time of Spring Break and the week is a national holiday, the two are not related.

Keep reading to discover what and when is Holy Week and gain insight into what are the seven days of Holy Week in order to experience this cultural phenomenon.

So, What is Holy Week?

To a believer, this is the time to celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what is Holy Week for the observer? It is a week of colorful parades, dramatic reenactments, parties and food filling the local plazas, and a much anticipated national holiday.

Semana Santa is one of the longest and most prolific vacations for all of Mexico. It is the time when major cities empty out and everyone heads to the coast for sun, food, and to honor cultural festivities. While the dates often align with Spring Break, this only adds to the vacation feel while having nothing to do with the actual events. 

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When is Holy Week?

If you want to experience Holy Week 2023, head down to the coastal cities of Mexico on Palm Sunday, April 2nd through Easter Sunday, April 9th. If you really want to understand what is Holy Week, you need to know what are the seven days of Holy Week.

Palm Sunday is Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem. This is followed by holy Monday, holy Tuesday, and holy Wednesday, also known as Spy Wednesday, where there will be songs and candles to light up the dark that signifies the disciples abandoning Jesus. Maundy Thursday commemorates the last supper before Jesus is betrayed. Good Friday is not so good as Jesus stands trial before Pontius Pilate and is sentenced to death. Holy Saturday is a late night vigil to honor those who visited Jesus’s tomb before his resurrection on Easter Sunday. 

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Holy Week 2023

If Semana Santa is not the same as Spring Break, can you experience both? Well, technically yes if the dates line up. You need to know when is Holy Week and how long is Spring Break. If you’re wanting to understand what are the seven days of Holy Week, it’s best to visit during Semana Santa, but depending on how long is Spring Break, you may get to see both as Semana Pascua is the following week giving Mexico fourteen days to celebrate and travel.

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