The place to be on Semana Santa is Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Sonora


Easter in Puerto Peñasco and Mexico is the 2nd largest holiday as well as being the largest religious holiday in the country.   It starts on March 2nd and is Ash Wednesday with all the Catholic churches holding mass throughout the day.  Many churches save the Palm branches from the previous year and burn them to make the ash that the Priests puts on the parishioners’ forehead in a cross shape. 

Being a beach community, Rocky Point is a great place to learn about the traditions of celebrating Easter here as well as enjoying the Sea of Cortez.  If you do not yet have a reservation, you may have trouble getting a place to stay.  The town will be packed with tourists from all over Mexico as well as the border states.  Many Mexican families take the Easter holiday as their vacation time and will spend a week or two here.

The official start of Semana Santa begins on Palm Sunday which is April 10th.  Outside the churches and around the city vendors will be selling crosses and other things out of palm branches.  The churches are decorated with palm branches as well as the front doors of many of the homes. 

During these days there are processions and reenactments all over the city.  During the Lenten days, meat is not supposed to be eaten, but rather seafood and shrimp and a lot of vegetable dishes are prepared. Sweetbread and sweets are consumed on hose dates too.

Rocky Point

Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are both national holidays with banks, schools, and utilities being closed as well as many businesses. Maundy Thursday is a celebration of the Last Supper of Christ. On Good Friday in Rocky Point, there is normally a procession with people caring heavy wooden crosses to the entry of the port on the side of the mountain.  Also, there is a reenactment of Christ being nailed to the cross there.  The procession is usually very long.  I would suggest if you want to spend time in the Malecon that you get there early and plan to stay into the early afternoon as the road leading to the Port will be closed.

Easter Sunday (Sunday of Glory)is April 17th this year.  The day begins with mass at the Catholic churches as well as other churches in the cities. After the services are over, people flock to the town square where vendors are set up selling all sorts of things like balloons, food, toys, and more.  There are processions throughout the bigger cities on Easter Sunday.  You will find sporting events and celebrations in homes as now they can eat meat.  Many families have gone along with the American tradition of serving hams along with vegetable dishes, shrimp, and sweets.  It is amazing in Rocky Point if you are on the beach, you may find yourself being invited to join the local families for food and beverage.  Do yourself a favor and accept, you will not be disappointed!

Come out and join the fun while enjoying the beautiful weather in Puerto Peñasco and the stunning  Sea of Cortez views.  Remember Rocky Point is only a 4-hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson. Don’t forget to share us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Feel free to contact me via email or phone at 623-298-4284.

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The Sonora Post