It’s hard to describe in words the processions that happen every night during Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Taxco. Groups of Catholics walk solemnly through the streets honoring saints, reenacting Christ’s last days on earth, and doing penance. Each night there is a different theme with names such as Procession of the Virgens, Procession of the Christs, and Procession of the Holy Trinity.
Each group is from a different church and carries their own decorated statue fitting the theme of the night. Children dressed as angels lead most of the groups, followed by incense-waving marchers. Interspersed are the penitents, the most powerful and moving part of the processions, which I will explain in the next post. Each group has a few musicians playing drums, violins, and trumpets along the way.
The route of the processions meanders through the main streets of town, stopping at various religious sites (churches, chapels, convents). At some points, the streets are so narrow the only choice is to join the procession, which I did several times.
It’s a little strange to witness and become a part of such a solemn and holy ritual while life along the route continues as normal. Diners sit on balconies and sip wine while watching the faithful pass below them. Vendors continue selling every type of snack and drink along the route. And tourists weave in and out of the processions snapping photos.
The processions last all night. My first night, I returned to my room at 1:00 in the morning after four hours of walking around and photographing the participants. The streets were still filled with people waiting for the next procession to pass by, and restaurants were serving meals and drinks all night. Children were being carried by their parents or were looking like zombies as they held onto their parent’s hand while navigating up and down the cobblestone hills. The processions would continue for several more hours.
Scroll down for more photos, sounds, and video from the processions.