What is Semana Santa and Pescua you might be asking. Semana Santa is Holy week starting on Palm Sunday it continues with Holy Thursday and Friday, as well as the Sabbath of Glory and concludes on Easter Sunday. Pescua is Easter week starting on Easter Sunday and ending on the following Saturday. Mexico has the second largest Catholic community in the world. Mexico’s population of approximately 126,000,000 has about 101,800,000 residents who identify at Catholic which is just about 83%. Semana Santa is with certainty the most important of Holidays in Mexico with Christmas running a close second. Many places in Mexico celebrate with reenactments of the days leading up to the death of Christ. A few of which are procession’s, Portrayals of Christ caring life-size crosses and offerings that adorn many of their home and church altars.
On Easter Sunday the day of resurrection some places burn paper dolls representing Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus . For a few years they have also made figures of people repudiated by the people who are then burned next to Judas. This portion of the celebration is actually illegal due to injuries that have occurred. However it is still practiced in many rural area’s.
Pescua is a week of joy and happiness celebrating the resurrection of Christ. Starting on Easter Sunday (a day of rest) thru Saturday. The schools and many of the government offices and banks are closed here for two weeks during this time of year. Only a select few that carter to tourist will be open. This is important to know so one can plan accordingly. A myriad of families go on extended vacations. Many of the tourist areas are booked solid with Mexican family’s enjoying a much-needed vacation from their hard-working lives. The Pescua week is a lot like “spring break” that the United States celebrate’s.
Here in San Pancho many such vacationers with sun-kissed skin and the fragrance of coconut oil relax for their day of rest and relaxation on the playa. The energy is high yet still relaxed and calm. There are many children and adults alike playing in the waves of the ocean. Surfing on the far side of the playa. I am told the surfing is best first thing in the morning and again in evening when the tide comes in. I’ll have to take their word for it as I don’t surf. Families playing games, with music floating in the air. I laugh along with this family as I watch them playing pop the balloon, the game basically seems to be almost like track and field relay. The difference here is they run to the predetermined line then drink a mini beer as fast as they can. Then have to sit on the balloon to pop it then run back wards to where the next person is waiting. Their having a blast and their laughter is contagious.
Some of the vacationers are shopping in the small court and along the street. There are lots of little stalls filled with beautiful beading, unusual wears, brightly colored t-shirts and many artisan jewelry and crafts. All so interesting to look at and fun to wear. One of my favorite art styles here in Mexico is the yarn art I find it amazing how the artist can create such beauty, dimension and color all from just yarn.
The amazing scents of the many food stalls fill’s the air almost calling to you. I know we’ve all heard the stories of problems eating from street vendors. But I must say I myself haven’t ever gotten sick eating at them and the food is super authentic. That isn’t to say it doesn’t happen my best advice is to use common sense avoid any that look “fishy” so to speak. Typically the foods are filled with flavors I had never had before and honestly you just can’t beat the prices. Most of these vendors are careful to keep a sanitary environment the best they can I usually go to the ones that have a line with many locals. Your bound to find the best foods at these ones after all if the locals are lining up just to get their share of what ever yummy creation has been created it must be good stuff. Don’t forget to grab an ice cold beer. It’s the perfect companion with most street food. There are lots, and lots of beer during Pescua week.
This have been a fun day and theres sure to be many more during this week. San Pancho’s once quiet sleepy town is bustling with all the visitors enjoying the exceptional beauty and friendly people I’ve come to know. I’m filled with happiness that these lucky families got the chance to be here this week with us. Thank you for coming along on this journey and I be posting another adventure soon. As always please feel free to leave me a comment.