By Sandra Ríos
In San Miguel de Allende it is a tradition for people meet to admire the Holy Week processions that represent the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here are some of the most representative Holy Week sites in and near the city.
San Luis Rey Way of the Cross (Via Crucis)
On Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3, the neighborhood of San Luis Rey makes its own Via Crucis to the church, starting on Thursday at 7pm with a representation of the Last Supper. Then Via Crucis at San Luis Rey continues on Friday morning, but the real parade happens at noon. The residents enact the Passion of Christ, with men who represent Jesus and the two thieves being tied to a cross, simulating the crucifixion.
Atotonilco Way of the Cross
At noon on Friday, April 3, Jesus’s trial before Pontius Pilate will be re-enacted in the forecourt of the sanctuary. A Christ, barefooted and dressed in a purple robe and a crown of thorns, is whipped while carrying the cross to the crucifixion site near the water tank at the entrance of the village. The two thieves, Dismas and Gestas, walk with Him along the way. The stations of the cross are re-enacted, including the encounters with the Virgin Mary and Veronica, Christ’s three falls, and Simon of Cyrene helping Jesus carry the cross. The procession lasts about an hour, culminating with Christ’s being tied to the cross to simulate the crucifixion. The two thieves are also tied to crosses. The three men remain on the crosses for about half an hour.
On Friday, April 3, parades are held at various places. At 11:30am the Santo Encuentro (Holy Encounter) takes place at the Parroquia and surrounding streets. The main attraction is an antique figure of Jesus, which includes a mechanism which allows the statue’s head to be raised, as if to look as his mother, represented by the statue of the Virgen de los Dolores.
At 5pm on Friday, April 3, the longest and most solemn parade, that of the Holy Burial, begins. It departs from the Oratorio. This parade simulates Christ’s burial after He is taken down from the cross. Many people participate, dressed as Romans, angels, and mourners.
On Sunday the processions have ended. At noon, the traditional burning of a papier maché Judas takes places in the Jardin.