La Semana Santa is one holiday during the year where in most Spanish-speaking countries entire towns, businesses, schools, and government close for at least four days, Thursday through Sunday. People that have relocated to other places often go back to their hometowns. Others take advantage of the long break to go to the countryside or beach. Entire communities come together for Semana Santa celebrations. In some places, religious processions fill the streets each day of the week from Palm Sunday to Easter; in others, Thursday and Friday are the most important days. Most Semana Santa traditions are hundreds of years old and originated in Spain, but many now have a unique twist due to the mix of cultures in each country.

Vocabulario para celebrar
las alfombras rugs
las flores flowers
las procesiones processions
Semana Santa Holy Week

Write a travel brochure, describing five things tourists can see during Easter Week.

Alfombras de aserrín Rugs traditionally made of colored sawdust or sand, flowers, and fruits cover the streets where processions will pass in Sonsonate. Artisans also now use modern industrial paints and sprays.

Vestidos blancos Girls from San Miguel de Allende dress in white for the procession on Viernes Santo. In this town, the celebrations extend for two weeks, ending on el Domingo de Pascua with an explosion of papier-mâché figures in the center of town.

La fanesca Ecuadorians eat fanesca, a bean and grain soup with a fish base, only during Semana Santa. The soup is traditionally served with bolitas de harina (fritters), plátano verde (fried green plantain), fresh cheese, and ají, a spicy sauce.

Decoraciones de flores Flowers fill the city of Tarma for the Semana Santa celebrations. In preparation for the processions that begin on Thursday, arches and rugs made of flowers decorate the streets and remain on display until Sunday.

Una procesión Young boys carry streamers during the processions in Cadereyta.
  1.   What holidays do you celebrate with special parades or processions? What kinds of
decorations do people use?
  2.   In what kind of event would most of the people in your community participate? Compare the event to Semana Santa.