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Welcome to Holy Week in San Miguel


By Jesús Aguado

The scent of mint pervades the air, perfume meant to heal and calm the soul. Aromatic herbs that flood the streets and hang from altars everywhere in town, mingling to create the particular smell of Semana Santa, the season of the year when religious sculptures are carried by devotees in procession through the streets of the Historic Center to mark the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The traditions of Holy Week already began on April 7, with the arrival of Lord of the Column into San Miguel de Allende from its sanctuary in Atontonilco. A bloody statue depicting Christ’s suffering during the Passion, it’s brought to San Miguel each year in pilgrimage to the neighborhood of San Juan de Dios. Statues of the Virgin of Sorrows and of St John are also featured in the procession.

The traditions continued on April 12 with the Friday of Sorrows, on a day when the Virgin Mary is traditionally pampered with elegant dresses, flowers, and altars to alleviate the seven sorrows she is about to live out with the passion and death of her son. The triumphant entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem was also remembered with a Palm Sunday procession on April 14.

Culture and tradition in San Miguel de Allende during this special week ranges from the solemn processions venerating the events of the passion and resurrection of Christ to exuberant events in which Judas effigies (and often effigies of disliked politicians and other “bad people”) are happily set on fire in payment for their sins. Here, we present the most complete guide to religious and pagan events for the week ahead.


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