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Interesting Holy Week celebrations about to start | Mar 29, 2006

The Holy Week celebrations and processions will soon start in Nicaragua, and at several locations people are already preparing for these traditional, creative celebrations. This year's Holy Week - Semana Santa in Spanish - will take place between April 10th and April 16th. Below follows a brief list of some of the most interesting celebrations that will take place during or right before Holy Week.

Pilgrim Carts of Popoyuapa: over one hundred of rural carts, originating from different places, will make a 4-day journey from Granada to San Jorge, Rivas, with a religious motive. It is interesting to observe these carts from the Pan American Highway. This event always takes place right before the Holy Week celebrations. This year the group will be traveling between April 1st and April 4th, finishing in Popoyuapa with an open-air mass at 4PM.

San Lázaro: hundreds of dressed-up dogs will be brought to the Santa María Magdalena parish church in Masaya. Through this act, the dogs' owners want to ask for miracles or show their thankfulness to San Lázaro (Lazarus). The dogs, who also attend the mass, will be quite creatively dressed up. This year, this mass will take place during the morning of April 2nd.

Stations of the Cross at the islets: the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis in Latin) refer to the depiction of the final hours of Jesus. Massive processions that are related to the Stations of the Cross are realized throughout Nicaragua, but the clearest depiction is the one that takes place around the islets of Granada. People will cross the waterways in boats or kayaks, carrying an image of Jesus with them. This year's Via Crucis will take place on April 10th (Easter Monday), leaving the Asese port at 7.30AM.

Sawdust Paintings: many families and individuals create their own image made of sawdust, using different colors to depict biblical passages at the Sutiaba street of León. Processions will also pass by. It is interesting to observe the different designs and the passion of the people who create these images. This year, this activity will start on the morning of the 14th of April (Friday).