My mom’s side of the family is so Catholic that the pope should be proud. As a result I grew up attending plenty of wedding masses and funeral masses whenever someone in the family get’s hooked up or laid to rest. The Catholic religion itself is the world’s largest religious group numbering more than one sixth of the world’s population. Nowhere is the beating heart of Roman Catholicism more apparent than Latin America where some of the most famous Holy Week processions are held. In Colombia especially, there are many pilgrimages and special events worth seeing for both believers and non-believers alike. The most famous and popular spectacle’s of Holy are the processions. Comprised of marching bands, local church authorities, penitents and police or military presence, it is a grand show to see.
Semana Santa in Colombia: Popayan is the religious center of Colombia and definitely the most famous place to see the procession. Pereira however is not too far behind as thousands turn out in the city center to witness the procession and participate in the midnight masses. The whole process actually starts with the 40 days of Lent which starts after the debauchery of Carnaval. Colombia celebrates their Carnaval in Cartagena and most famously in Barranquilla. The culmination of the Lent celebration is Holy Week or Semana Santa in Spanish. The processions start on Wednesday with the children, all the schools participate who have bands. Thursday has a few youth bands but is centered more around the officials of the church and the carrying of the saints. Friday is an even bigger procession as the story of Jesus Christ’s burial and resurrection is completed. The Good Friday procession is one of the biggest processions of the week with police and military participation.