GPS: 19.5665192, -101.7068294
Holy Week offers the rare opportunity to feel the most intimate structure of the social fabric of Michoacan peoples and communities, where the men and women who are “freighters”, “semaneros” or members of the Councils of Elders maintain the cohesion of the ethnic group in around the cultural heritage.
A series of activities take place throughout the state and particularly in this region, ranging from the production of colorful candies, to the impressive expressions of sorrow carried out by hooded parishioners at nightfall, known as “processions of silence”.
The religious celebrations were carried out in the open air because the natives were not accustomed to enter the temples and to involve them with the Catholic religion the so-called “autos sacramentales” were performed, which were dramatizations of biblical passages. For that reason, the churches had wide spaces in the front. As an example of this design are the churches of Tarimbaro and Tzintzuntzan, being the Tzintzunrtzan the first “open chapel” – as they were called – of America.
These outdoor spaces dedicated to the evangelization of indigenous peoples were called atrios. In the center of these courts a stone cross was placed with elements of the passion of Christ, but Christ crucified was never placed to avoid the image of blood.
Each Easter, the Pátzcuaro region offers a wide variety of cultural, artistic and religious events, including the Procession of Christs of Pátzcuaro and the Altars of Dolores, traditional since the colonial era.
Special mention deserves Tzintzuntzan, on Friday morning we can observe the “penitents”, who come out to pay their promises to the Lord of the Holy Burial, punishing their ankles with the weight of shackles that are said to be original of the conquest, brought by Europeans to enslave, and today they are strictly guarded objects that are used to validate a practice of atonement and manifestation of the faith through corporal sacrifice.
Throughout the state, in each town, city or tenencia there are magnificent representations of the Via Crucis, delicious traditional food of the season is offered, beautiful handicrafts are sold and above all the hospitality of this town is enjoyed.