In Uruapan, Michoacan, Bright and Lively Festivals Are Celebrated All Year

This is a guest post from John Glaab, an real estate expert in La Paz and in Mexico’s international connections.  He also has strong interest in the city of Morelia in central Mexico.

All year long there are festivals occurring in Uruapan, near Morelia. The two most noteworthy and that fill the hotels are; Noche de Muertos (Night of the Dead) and Semana Santa (Holy Week). The first is November 1 and the second is Holy Week which includes Palm Sunday and Easter.


Michoacan is the center of the part pagan, part Christian celebration of Noche de Muertos (Night of the Dead). Tzintzuntzin the capital of the Tarascan empire is especially important, but Ofrendas (altars) are also abundant in the streets of Patzcuaro and Uruapan. For the past three years, Uruapan has also had a celebration of velas. (candles) More than 10,000 candles adorn the Centro Historica and the main plaza.


During Semana Santa, the artisans fill the four block long plaza in Uruapan. This year more than 1,200 came to display and sell their work. Representing 73 communities, the artisans came with 1 million pieces. These ranged from copper works of art (Santa Clara del Cobre) to fine guitars. (Paracho)


There were two parades during the week. One the parade of the artesanos and the other the parade of the aguadores. (Water carriers) The later in rational costume carried water from the Rio Cupatitzio, to the Inmaculada church for blessing. Of course both had musical groups in the processions.


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-by John Glaab


Awa Condos Playa del Carmen

Mexico Shows its “Passion” for Jesus – Pictures of Passion Plays

Most people know something about Mexico’s Passion Plays; these plays act out the last hours of Jesus’ life in which he is put on trial, carries his cross and is crucified.


The extent to which these events are acted out and the realism of them varies from region to region and community to community.  At the very least, they include someone acting the role of Jesus carrying often large and heavy crosses for fairly long distances.  In the most extreme cases, they actually have someone physically strike Jesus with a with a whip, and even tie him onto the cross which is raised as though it were a real crucifixion with the person Jesus on it, although such extremes are rare! (I haven’t heard of any cases where they actually use nails or anything like that …)


Take a look at the pictures below:


Retirement Living in Mexico - Religions Events


Retirement Living in Mexico - Religions Events


Retirement Living in Mexico - Religions Events


Retirement Living in Mexico - Religions Events


So, do I think this stuff is a good idea? Well, it’s certainly very different, and a very foreign expression of very different values.  What I will say is that they certainly take their religion seriously!  It is worth noting, however, that it’s very rare that Mexicans are push about their religion; they prefer to show their passion (no pun intended) rather than tell you about it or try to convince you of it.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

In Mexico, Easter is an Entire Week

The week leading up to Easter is important in many countries and cultures.  However, Easter up in the U.S. is usually just a nice family dinner on Sunday, and an Easter egg hunt – lots of fun, but still only one day.


Of course, many people will go to church on Good Friday, and in Canada they add a day on Monday, but otherwise these days carry on, business like usual.


As is often the case, the Mexican Easter holidays are more “substantial.”


In Mexico, Easter is an entire week of holidays (Holy Week).  Many people have the entire week off work.  Of course, some people – especially those who work in tourism or restaurants – have to work not only regular hours, but overtime to accommodate everyone else’s holiday cheer!

What people do during these days varies greatly depending on their personal values, beliefs and finances.  There are enough Mexicans who enjoy the time for travel and simple pleasures, or just to relax.


However, with Mexico’s strong Catholic roots, most people will include some religious activity, and many will dedicate the week to their faith.  As happens in Canada and the U.S., at Easter (like at Christmas) many people who aren’t very dedicated to religion will go to church and participate in related activities – but probably in greater numbers and more passionately so (no pun intended!)


Holy Week includes the Palm Sunday processions, the Passion plays of Good Friday, in which people re-enact the story of Jesus’ death (which we’ll look at tomorrow), and going to mass really often.  On Saturday, there’s a strange little tradition in Mexico City at least of throwing water on passers-by.  I’m still not sure why they do this.


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate Testimonials

Jesus Rides to Mexico on a Donkey – Processions for Beginning Holy Week

Anyone familiar with Catholicism will know about the Palm Sunday processions.  However, as in just about all other cases, the Mexican take on these processions is more elaborate; here they are longer, more “acted out” and more realistic.


The procession will generally take place between two nearby churches.  In many cases, people will be dressed in costume of people from ancient times.


A man – sometimes with long hair and a beard, sometimes artificial – will ride on a donkey which is led at the front of the procession.


Later in the week we’ll see some more impressive scenes of the passion of Christ acted out!


-by Thomas Lloyd


Mexico Real Estate Testimonials