I will like to write about this coming event that is very important for Catholic Community.I am not religious at all but this is part of my family and country tradition that I enjoy also.
The entire country begins to shut down the weekend prior to Easter, as just about every Costa Rican with the means is already planning their escape to the beach, rivers, or just family home.
The origins of the word “Easter” are not certain, but probably derive from Estre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. The German word Ostern has the same derivation, but most other languages follow the Greek term used by the early Christians: pascha, from the Hebrew pesach (Passover). It celebrate on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.
The holy week starts on April 1st with Palm Sunday ( domingo de Ramos): Representation of Jesus entering Jerusalem when crowds cheered him by waving palm branches. In the Catholic celebration after the mass gives out sprays of palm leaves. The represenation sometimes bring a Jesus riding a donkey.
I love this Eater Time line in image
HOLY WEEK TIMELINE IN IMAGES – Left to right: the entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday depicted in a medieval manuscript; Holy Thursday gathering at ‘The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci; Good Friday’s “The Crucifixion” by Simon Vouet; Holy Saturday “Entombment of Christ” by Titian; and “The Resurrection of Christ” by Noel Coypel.
Holy Thursday April 3 ‘The Last Supper” because that was the day in which Christ gathered with his followers for the Passover Seder.To Christians, this is the “Last Supper,” where Christ instituted the Christian concept of sharing communion.
Good Friday’s April 6 “The Crucifixion” , one of the most somber days in the Christian calendar, marks the day of Christ’s crucifixion.
Holy Saturday April 7 ”Entombment of Christ”, it commemorates the day Christ remained buried in a tomb, the darkest day for early Christians. Since Jewish law would not allow any of the preparations for burial to be carried out on the Sabbath, the tomb was closed to keep the body safe until the mourners returned on Sunday.
Easter Sunday April 8 is the celebration of the joyous news of Christ’s triumphant victory over death.”The Resurrection of Christ”.
Many Ticos (Costa Ricans) simply bring hammocks to the beach, or sleep right on the sand, camp in the side of the rivers or stay in home with all the family and watch the classic religious films in local Channels(Teletica, Repretel and SINART) like the 10 Commandments, The Arc, Kind David, David and Goliat, Spartacus, Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ ,The bible, The Robe, the DreamWorks animated classic, The Prince of Egypt for the kids or just watch the TV transmission of The procession in San Joaquin de Flores de Heredia that includes an actor for every person that was present at the scene of Christ’s death, or Vatican mass or event.
Inland, particularly in San José and the Central Valley’s major cities, smaller business begin shutting down on Monday, while almost all non-essential services are closed on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday preceding Easter. Most buses stop running on Thursday and Friday as well—if you don’t have a rental car, make sure that you’re where you want to be. Alcohol sales are forbidden because the Ley Seca (Dry Law),Wednesday midnight through Friday midnight, but you can usually find bars and private vendors willing to part with a bottle or two, at premium prices.
If you’re willing to work with the wild ruckus surrounding Semana Santa, however, you won’t find a more authentically Costa Rican fiesta. The beach parties are wild, and you’ll almost certainly be invited to toast the holiday with inebriated locals (though it always helps if you bring your own libations). And, if you’re interested in more traditional events, most major towns and cities offer more serious observations of the Holy Week.
Catholic churches, most notably in Cartago and around the Central Valley, organize elaborate, costumed processions on Good Friday, depicting Jesus Christ’s last day before the crucifixion. Called the Via Crucis, or Via Dolorosa (literally the “Way of the Cross” or “Way of Sorrows,” and very similar to the Passion Play), these follow a representation of Jesus, sometimes portrayed by an actor dragging the cross, or more often a carved statue carried on a litter by volunteers.
IF you are in Playas de Coco or around you can go to see Liberia processions, they will have a all king of Events and representation. ALso in Playa Hermosa Church, Sardinal and Coco. Here is a link of all the Events in various Church in the Country including Coc, hermosa and Liberia. http://www.wix.com/carvajalbrandon16/cuaresma-y-semana#!.
This is the Easter Schedule of Liberia Church: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT0B4E9G8gY&feature=share
The Via Cruces stops at each Station of the Cross, where other actors perform key Biblical events, such as Simon of Cyrene being ordered by the Romans to carry the cross for a struggling Jesus, and Saint Veronica wiping Christ’s brow with what is now, according to tradition, the Shroud of Turin. All are invited to follow.
There are dozens of other more typically Tico traditions associated with Semana Santa, however, not all of them sanctioned by the Church.
For instance, in many towns, Judas the Betrayer is burned in effigy on the Saturday before Easter, accompanied by lots of fireworks. In Liberia the celebration is from 7:00 pm next to plaza Rodriguez by the stadium.
Lagarteada In Santa Cruz, Guanacaste, local people capture a live crocodile with their bare hands, and keep it in a pen (with the blessing of MINAE, if not the Vatican) as part of the Lagarteada, a celebration that almost certainly predates the Spanish Conquest. This event is Good Friday that involves capturing a giant crocodile with their bare hands and tying it up to put on display in the center of town.
More religious Costa Ricans, particularly the older generations, believe that driving, swimming, drinking alcohol, and eating meat (other than seafood) during Semana Santa is sinful. Rather than heading to the beach, they enjoy a quiet week with their families and church congregations. Talking about Food , Eating traditional Costa Rican food is your cheapest option and Easter has a very good traditional meals , almost all made with CORN because is a sinful eat meat in this week. See my Note where I mentioning some of our Traditional Meals in Easter week and enjoy eating.
Holy Week – is a time of processions, candlelit services and religious traditions. Around the world, special foods are served based on the traditional Lenten meatless fast, and festivities are held throughout the entire week in preparation for Easter Sunday. I will be more than happy to recommend you to go and particpate in those activities, to know better of our Tradition even if youa re not religious person. Well, got to go and have a great Easter!