Holy Week (Semana Santa) is the Christian spring festival. It is the week leading up to Easter Sunday. The date varies every year because it is based on the northern spring equinox and the phases of the moon.
Around the World
This week is very important around the Latin world. In pre-literate times, religious theater brought the community together and taught the faith.
The days are marked by celebrations and reenactments of the passion of Christ. There are famous reenactments in Guatemala, Mexico, Philippines and Spain. Many small towns hold reenactments too. These are very special because they are local community celebrations.
Christian Easter traditions derive from Jewish Passover traditions. Many northern cultures celebrate spring in their own way at this time.
The Days of Holy Week
The days of the week are:
- Palm Sunday
- Holy Monday
- Holy Tuesday
- Holy Wednesday
- Maundy Thursday
- Good Friday
- Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
It all leads to Easter.
Easter isn’t technically part of the Week, but it is all one celebration. Old Catholic tradition celebrated important events in octaves or eight days.
May you and your family have a blessed Holy Week.