Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Weekend Observations


It's odd how Mexicans by and large take Semana Santa much more seriously than do even Catholic Americans, but that the festivities largely don't extend to Easter. There is no Easter bunny, no Easter baskets, and, at least in my experience, there was never much of an Easter dinner, but the recreation of the Passion is on national TV and on the front page of national newspapers every Good Friday. (See above.)

Also, recent polling from Inegi shows that 84 percent of Mexicans identify as Catholics, while 4.6 do not practice a religion. The latter number has been steadily declining for decades (the figure was 96.4 in 1960), while the latter has jumped by more than 50 percent since 2000.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

you're being ironic, right? why would there be an easter bunny or baskets? they've got nothing to do with actual Easter. they're german traditions if i recall, and well, purely commercial now as we all know. or are you wondering why the Mexican marketing machine hasn't tapped into easter as a means of revenue like they have done with halloween etc?

pc said...

More than anything I'm wondering why Semana Santa is a bigger deal than Easter, when in the US it is the reverse, which is what I wrote. RE the Easter bunny/baskets, Mexico has appropriated plenty of holiday traditions that aren't historically Mexican (among them Halloween, as you mention) so the fact that they started in Germany and don't have to do with the religious basis of Easter doesn't make it inevitable that they don't exist in Mexico.

don quixote said...

Not so odd at all, Mexicans and Mexican AMericans, often victims of persecution relate intimately with the passion and crucifixion of Christ and his subsequent Redemtion.

pc said...

That may be part of it, but that's kind of hard to prove. That doesn't make it untrue by any stretch, it's just not an easy factor to pin down. But again the thing that strikes me as odd is that the redemption/resurrection side of week, i.e. Easter, is not as big a deal.

Don Gringo said...

If the US would have a 4 day legal holiday weekend, or a week for anyone over the rank of peon, Easter would become much more significant, sort of like thanksgiving with easter eggs.

Mexfiles said...

I don't think there's anything uniquely Mexican about this, although Mexicans go in for a bit more drama than some other cultures. It probably has more to do with the difference between cultures steep in Catholic and Protestant assumptions. Catholicism has always paid more attention to the route to salvation (i.e, the passion and crucifixion)... which is what Semana Santa commemorates. Protestant culture puts the emphasis on salvation (the Resurrection), celebrated on Easter Sunday, and Semana Pascua... the week beginning with Easter Sunday.

Living in a beach town, I suppose Semana Santa is our cross to bear, though we celebrate Easter week by counting our sales receipts :-)