Posted by: ktzefr | April 3, 2015

Celebrating Semana Santa in San Miguel de Allende: Part 2

San Miguel is well known for its Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations.  It’s all about tradition and color and pageantry beginning two weeks before Easter and lasting for several days afterwards.  The major events draw thousands of spectators from other cities in Mexico, as well as international travelers.  Schools are closed for two weeks, allowing the children to take part in all of the Easter festivities.  Most events take place within easy walking distance of each other and there is always something going on in the Jardin, the city’s main plaza, or at one of the local churches.

The most famous, most photographed, and most beloved building in San Miguel de Allende is the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel.

The Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

The Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

The building was constructed in the 16th century and the facade renovated in the 19th century by Zeferino Gutierrez, a self-taught draftsman who based his design on a postcard depicting a French Gothic cathedral.  Mass is held everyday.  The bricks of pink sandstone change color with the sun and the huge iron bells are rung manually several times a day.

In the east transept there is a carved sculpture of Jesus made from cane bark…

The Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

The Parroquia, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

The Parroquia was the final stop for a long procession to Noon mass on Palm Sunday…

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

A couple of blocks away, the Templo de San Francisco was the site of another procession and earlier mass…

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Palm Sunday Procession, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

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A special local tradition is Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows) on the final Friday of Lent.  This holiday is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows with special masses, millions of fresh flowers in the city’s fountains and parks and every building, and the distribution of aguas de fruta (fruit ices) by the local community to symbolize the tears of La Virgen.  In the evening the streets are filled with thousands of locals and visitors from all over Mexico and around the world, who have come to see the beautiful handmade altars in the churches and private homes.  Here are a few…

Viernes de Dolores, San Miguel de Allende,GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Viernes de Dolores, San Miguel de Allende,GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

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A glimpse at only a few of the other lovely old churches in San Miguel…

Iglesia de San Rafael, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Iglesia de San Rafael, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Templo de la Immaculada Concepcion, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Templo de la Immaculada Concepcion, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

 The massive dome of this church (above) dominates San Miguel’s skyline.  The church was originally funded by a young nun and heiress, Josephina Lina de la Canal y Hervas.  The dome, surrounded by a parade of stone saints, is said to be a copy of Les Invalides in Paris.

Templo de Nuestra Senora de la Salud, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Templo de Nuestra Senora de la Salud, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Men ringing the bells…in the bell tower of the Templo de San Francisco. 

Templo de San Francisco, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Templo de San Francisco, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

One of my favorite churches in San Miguel is the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.  Inside, a series of 33 oil paintings shows scenes from the life of the Florentine St. Philip Neri.  On a sunny day, which is most days in San Miguel, the colors are stunning against the intense blue sky.

Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico; Photo:KFawcett

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Responses

  1. Thanks, Katie. Very interesting.

  2. […] geranium, roses, hibiscus.  Flowers fill the markets and streets and the backs of trucks.  During Semana Santa (Holy Week) carpets of flowers cover some streets and great bundles of blooms and herbs decorate altars in the […]


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