The Holy Week in Oaxaca is lived on a very special way. The events done are mainly religious, in which we commemorate the true meaning of this week. The week that ends the Lent.

During the Holy Week we live a lot of different traditions in each part of the state. Also the believers of the Catholic Church go out on processions symbolizing parts of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Oaxaca state participates on the representation of various chapters of the Gospel. During the Holy Week, different towns do different things. In the town of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán the activities start on Monday, with a procession symbolizing the capture of Jesus.

Most of the places, including the center of Oaxaca city, start the representations on Holy Thursday, next I will show you all the things you can see in the Holy Week in Oaxaca.


In the town of Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, which borders the center of Oaxaca, a procession takes place around the church in the center of the town. The procession represents the imprisonment of Jesus, the inhabitants of the town go to this procession to pray while the gospel is narrated and the image of Jesus is carried with his hands tied.


We move on to the second day of the Holy Week and move to the center of Oaxaca. The procession of standards and reliquaries that takes place at sunset on this day. In this, the reliquaries of Oaxaca, go in procession through the city, with the band and the image of the Virgin. The reliquaries and banners are pieces with a lot of history. They house images of saints or Jesus, and belong to the different parishes of Oaxaca.

In the Holy Week in Oaxaca some processions are made, one of them with standards and reliquaries.
Photo: Douglas Favero Photography. The standards are pretty old and show images of Jesus, Saints or the Virgin.


On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Oaxaca hosts a concert of sacred music. You can enjoy the music that accompanies the traditions of these days.


Holy Thursday marks the beginning of the most important days of Holy Week. On Holy Thursday we commemorate the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. During the Holy Thursday mass in the parishes there is a representation of the washing of the feet. The foot washing is a representation of what Jesus did on the day of the Last Supper, washing the feet of his disciples.

On the night of Holy Thursday it is a tradition to visit 7 altars. This is because it symbolizes that we accompany Jesus in his visit to seven houses according to the Gospel. His visit was not voluntary but when he was imprisoned, he was taken to 7 houses or institutions where they sought to find him “guilty” of something. The tradition of visiting the seven altars in Oaxaca is very special, in the churches they put beautifully decorated altars and outside they sell bread to visitors.

On Holy Thursday of the Holy Week in Oaxaca, a tradition is to go visit 7 altars.
Photo: Douglas Favero Photography. The altars of the churches are decorated with flowers and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. In the image we can appreciate the altar of Carmen Alto Church in Oaxaca.


Good Friday, a day of mourning for all Christian believers. This day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross to redeem the world and save us from sins. On this day the Holy Mass is not celebrated, a different liturgy is held in which the passion of Christ is read. Meanwhile in the churches the images are covered with purple cloth to symbolize the mourning.

Oaxaca has a unique tradition to commemorate this event. The procession of silence, in this procession led by the archbishop of Oaxaca, parade several images that represent what happened in the passion and death of Jesus Christ. Accompanying this procession is a man who plays the drum very slowly, this is one of the only noises that can be heard, in addition to the crosses carried by some gentlemen with which it is represented that if you want to follow Christ you must carry your own cross.

In addition to the Procession of Silence, you will be able to see the Stations of the Cross in the Jalatlaco district.

The procession of silence is one of two similar traditions in the world, the other one is done in Spain.
Photo: Douglas Favero Photography. Procession of Silence. Oaxaca has an almost unique tradition in the world, there is only one other similar procession in the world, they do it in Spain.


Holy Saturday, the day in which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is expected. On this day, nothing is represented during the day, but at night the celebration of the Easter Vigil takes place, in this celebration the Celebration of the New Fire takes place, each parish does it at a different time, so to see it you can check the schedules in a nearby parish or contact us, we will try to give you the information as soon as possible.


Resurrection Sunday, also called Easter, is the most important feast for all Catholics. In this day we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus and his triumph over death. On this day the faithful of different parishes go out in procession with an image of the resurrected Christ.

Resurrection Sunday or Easter is the last day of Lent and of the Holy Week.
Photo: Douglas Favero Photography. On Resurrection Sunday a procession is made in which the believers take white flags and go with an image of Resurrected Jesus.

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Translated from the spanish post here:


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