Easter Week Celebrations in Ecuador
In many countries around the world, Easter is celebrated as a religious festival, and while some set aside a weekend, Ecuador has an Easter Week. Each city has its own traditional ways of celebrating this festive period, but its general meaning and celebratory purposes remain the same. Easter Week in Ecuador is celebrated from the 16th to the 23rd of March in 2008 and it is a time where the crucifixion of Christ is remembered and His rising commemorated.
On Good Friday, festivities start with a procession that is colorful and most spectacular, with depictions of these last horrendous days of Christ on earth. Some devotees carry massive crosses throughout the sometimes difficult route, while others illustrate the whipping penitents, as done by the Romans. Only the churches and cathedrals are open on Good Friday, with members of the church sometimes having to stand in long queues to get a chance at joining one of the mass ceremonies that are performed throughout the day. Ecuador also has a traditional dish that is served on this day, which is prepared from twelve different grains, representing the twelve disciples, and Christ who is symbolized through the serving of fish.
On the Saturday of the event, the streets come alive with people and parades, joyful children and fascinated visitors. Musicians, dance and celebration fill the air, with families spending time together and enjoying the welcoming break from daily life. In Ecuador it is called Saturday of Glory. Easter Sunday is another opportunity for Ecuadorians to attend church services, reflect on their religious beliefs and the sacrifice made by Christ to die for the sins of His followers.
The true meaning of Easter is often lost in the commercial gain of selling Easter eggs and various treats. And even though hunting Easter eggs is fun for the entire family, it is in the hands of parents to ensure that their children are aware of the reasons Easter is celebrated and that the true meaning of this time is not lost. Ecuadorians take the celebration of Easter very seriously, as it is a country that is known to be deeply rooted in their religion. Visitors to Ecuador during this period are requested to respect them, but are more than welcome to join the locals and experience the spirit of Easter.