Semana Santa 2012 – the Holy Week

| June 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

Semana Santa 2012 – the Holy Week

In Spanish language Easter is called Semana Santa and its meanings are holy week. Normally this holy week is little larger than the European one and rest of world. These are the most important catholic holidays after Christmas. This week is celebrated in the memory of Jesus and almost every Church preaches His habits and way of preaching. Normally most countries prefer Easter Sunday and Good Friday, but some countries having more powerful catholic beliefs pay same importance to this whole week as well. Spain, Philippines, Panama, Puerto Rico, United States of America and Canada etc. are those countries which pay high importance to the whole week. Holy week is the final week of Lent. It is the most holy part of Christian’s calendar. Semana Santa 2012 lasted from March 30, 2012 to April 08, 2012.


Spain is a country especially renowned for its holy week celebrations. In Spain, during the week some people wear a unique dress consisting of cloaks and hoods. The color of these dresses varies depending upon the processions. These also put up processional candles and walk on the road barefooted. And sometimes they also put chains on their feet to show penance.

In various cities of Spain there are different traditions. As Cartagena has very little resemblance to other cities in Spain like Leon, Lorca, and Malaga etc. However in most cities of Spain people have high passion and enthusiasm for the holy week.


Like Spain, the Holy week is very colorful in Panama as well. People celebrate Monday, Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday with great devotion and excitement in the country. Offices often remain open for half day during Monday to Thursday and there is a public religious holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Philippine is a powerful country regarding to catholic religion. It also celebrates the Holy Week with great processional activities. It is a predominantly catholic country. In Philippines, full media coverage takes place on Holy Week from the start to the end. The unique thing of Philippines about Holy week is the singing of wailing song.

In Philippines, on Palm Sunday people go to church with palm leaves to say prayers and think there selves to be blessed. There are restrictions in Philippines for drinking during these days.

However Philippine is a leading country in celebrating Holy week.

Puerto Rico:

In Puerto Rico there is a half day on Thursday and holiday on Friday. Most schools, colleges and universities of Puerto Rico prepare students for Sunday by recessing whole week. During these days businesses normally remain closed but on Friday it is made sure that all businesses remain closed.

Palm Sunday in USA:

In USA, Palm Sunday or Semana Santa is not a public holiday but as the day is Sunday, so most of the people have holiday. Mostly programs of scarred music are arranged from days before Palm Sunday and often remain in for whole week. The music might either be a musical companies’ regular series or sometimes it is paid by the local churches.

On Palm Sunday churches use palm leaves but there are some churches which use olive leaves or silk leave also due to difficulty in searching palm leaves in United States of America.

Holy week in Canada:

Canada also has a great number of catholic populations. In Canada there are four official holidays for holy week. Good Friday is off. Also the coming Monday after Easter Sunday is a public holiday. Canadians remain with friends and families on Easter Sunday and usually have local traditions like celebrating eggs and hunting eggs etc. Also there is an exchange of Easter eggs among the families who have close relations with each other.

Bishops address people to take part in holy week and to celebrate it with enthusiasm. This builds up moral of public and makes their faith stronger.

Other Countries:

Christian community all over the world celebrates this week. Some other countries that celebrate the event include Germany, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore etc. Especially the Catholics of celebrate it with greater interest.

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Category: Calendar, Holidays 2012, International holidays, Spain holidays

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