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For Colombian people, Semana Santa (Holy Week) is one of the most important annual celebrations. It traditionally starts on Palm Sunday and lasts until Easter Sunday. The peak of ceremonies falls during Maundy Tuesday and Good Friday when people all over Colombia commemorate Jesus Christ’s Passion, crucifixion, and death. Also, during Holy Week, vendors offer homemade sweets from coconut, mango, rice, papaya, and other ingredients.
Where to see Semana Santa celebrations in Colombia?
In the capital city of Bogota, all performances and processions are held on the sacred mountain Monserrate. However, the most impressive events take place in Popayan and Mompox, known to be religious centers of Colombia.
Semana Santa in Popayan
Popayan Easter celebrations are included in the UNESCO world heritage list. Thousands of people participate in Easter processions and the highly acclaimed Festival of Sacred Music. Lots of choirs and orchestras arrive from different countries to take part in this event and perform in the Guillermo Valencia theater. Popayan is located in the southwest of the country and is renowned as one of the most architecturally significant cities in Colombia, despite the consequences of the 1983 earthquake. It is called White City due to the largest concentration of churches. Church steeples form the city's skyline, and there seems to be a church almost around every corner.
Semana Santa in Mompox
In Mompox, women participate in Easter processions in their best clothes and the most expensive jewelry, showing their mourning for Jesus Christ. In the Silvia region, indigenous Colombians dress in their traditional clothes and cook Easter food.
Book a hotel
Holy Week in Colombia is so busy that accommodation rates at that time go up, so do your bookings in advance.