Easter Celebration in San Miguel de Allende

Easter in San Miguel is a really big deal. You’ll know you’re in a catholic city that celebrates their faith and culture wholeheartedly. In Mexico, nearly the entire population is Catholic, with 83 percent identifying as Roman Catholic. Semana Santa is the largest and most revered religious celebration of the year.

There will be many parades, celebrations, and church bells ringing. Watch the costumed parades pass our rentals on San Francisco Street and Salida a Queretaro!
We have the best location to experience this special cultural event!

Semana Santa is the holy week leading up to Easter

Semana Santa Celebration

The celebrations focus on the important days within Semana Santa:

Palm Sunday
Maundy Thursday
Good Friday
Holy Saturday
Easter Sunday on March 31

The Burning of the Judases

Burning of the Judases

One celebration during Semana Santa is specific to San Miguel. It involves making paper mâché dolls, complete with paint and clothing.

What comes next may surprise you—they set fire to those dolls, usually via a firework display.

This tradition started because Spanish invaders used to burn Judas dolls (for those who aren’t familiar with the Biblical reference, Judas betrayed Christ).

The ritual often takes place on Holy Saturday and involves, as the name suggests, the burning of effigies stylized to look like Judas, Jesus’ betrayer.

Photos were taken in San Miguel. Burning of the Judases 2016 | © AlejandroLinaresGarcia/WikiCommons

Fashioned from cardboard, there are sometimes extra fireworks added to the models to make the mood slightly more festive, and in recent times, these effigies have been modeled not on Judas but on significant political figures. It’s believed that this tradition originated in Spain, which is why it is mostly held in colonial towns like San Miguel de Allende, and it’s said that Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were big fans.

On Good Friday, locals participate in ‘The Burning of the Judases’ by wrapping strings of firecrackers around large paper-mache figures.

Nowadays, San Miguel de Allende inhabitants also set fireworks to political figures they disagree with, maintaining this unique Easter tradition.

The watching crowds cheer as the paper mache figures go up in flames. Delving into the Mexican culture is one of my favorite pastimes… and you’ll see more!

Mexicans LOVE lots of noise. Like most important holidays, Semana Santa will be noisy.  Semana Santa is very busy with tourists. If you’re interested in visiting San Miguel, then be sure to check our availability. Also, be aware that many streets will be closed during Semana Santa (another good reason to stay downtown!).

Burning of the Judases

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