"Semana Santa" is a phrase spoken in many ways in Mexico. From the mouths of babes -- the local children -- it has the tone of "snow day!" or "Christmas vacation!", as their schools close not only for this Holy Week, but also for the week following Easter, Semana Pascua.
From the fellow at the paint store, the words come a bit apologetically: we open half a day on Thursday, then close until Monday -- although some places close from Wednesday through Sunday, so I find this quite reasonable.
From the devout, the words are uttered solemnly: along with Christmas, this is one of Mexico's two most important religious holidays, celebrated all over the country with passion plays, church days, vigils and processions.
From the mouths of some of the gringos who live in beach towns, the words are often muttered in the Voice of Doom: Semana Santa, they intone -- the week when we avoid the highways, hide in our houses, put in the earplugs, and stay away from the beach. Because, for huge numbers of people in the Mexican inland and cities, this is also the time to head to la playa and vacation.
Families, college kids, sports teams, bandas, hawkers and funseekers converge on every beach town, including our own. Temporary shelters, booths, sidewalk restaurants and a karaoke bar appear where they weren't before. As I write this, Easter weekend is just beginning. We'll see what happens over the next few days.
I'm finding it rather entertaining, myself. So...for those of my readers who have been hinting lately at my verbosity, I give you a peek at Semana Santa (so far) in San Pancho...in pictures.