Best time to go to Venezuela

Semana Santa (Holy Week) & Easter 2023

Venezuela's tropical Holy Week celebrations will show you what a real vacation is

Easter and the Holy Week in Venezuela are big holidays. Easter week in the country is like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and to locals, it's pretty much a carnival. The nature of the holiday is clearly religious, but this doesn't mean the activities popular during this period are church-related only.

Religious people attend small and big churches, like Basílica de Santa Teresa in Caracas. But non-church-goers prefer a more casual way of merrymaking—for example, many like going to the beach and having barbecue parties. During this time, kids perform water-balloon and other pranks on their parents. In addition, Semana Santa in Venezuela is vacation time, so children usually have a week-long weekend while adults have Thursday and Friday off. Semana Santa allows Venezuelans to plan family trips to other cities and visit their relatives. Those who decide to stay in town for the holiday, on the other hand, spend time barbecuing, dancing, and partying all night.

Locals also organize massive parades and stroll down the streets of their home cities. These processions are pretty similar to any other Latin American country's: they involve colorfully dressed people, themed marching bands, and Jesus' passions reenactments. Some put on Jesus-style outfits while others opt for purple sinner costumes with cones covering their heads. These masses of people walk from temple to temple, kissing a statue of Jesus' feet in each of them.

Other Venezuelan traditions are pretty interesting too. For instance, it's common in some parts of the country to burn a scarecrow of Judas or carry out funny contests. One of the most popular ones is having two people press coconuts against each other, trying to break them. Coconuts, by the way, are a traditional Easter food in Venezuela, and people eat them a lot during the holidays—just like fish, black beans, and all kinds of desserts. Of course, each day of the week has a particular religious subtext, but the most crucial one is undoubtedly Resurrection Sunday, and all the efforts are directed towards it.

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Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika