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Semana Santa in Mexico

by May Herz


 

Although the event lasts only a few days, the preparations begin several months in advance; everything must be ready for the first Sunday after Holy Week.

There is an Organizing Committee, formed by the inhabitants of Iztapalapa themselves, people who have taken part for several years and are highly respected in the community. They are in charge of choosing the actors who will play the main roles of Christ, the Virgin Mary and Pontius Pilate. Many people want a role, but they have to meet the prerequisites such as height, age civil status and above all, impeccable conduct.

The role most disputed by the young men of the district is precisely that of Christ, because it is a great honor, an example of physical and spiritual strength that not just anyone can undertake.

Representing Christ, even for only a few days, means being acknowledged by the entire community.

Semana Santa in Mexico

The preparation is arduous because the physical fitness of an athlete and great spiritual preparation are required in order to be able to bear the whipping and carry a heavy wooden cross along the route.

There is also an important role for the girls of the district, very much disputed among them: that of the Virgin Mary. As with the role of Christ, the choice is made from among several candidates who have to meet certain physical characteristics as well as have an exceptional moral position. For the girl chosen and her relatives, this choice represents a high honor, as not just anyone is so highly distinguished in public for their generosity of spirit.


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