As the last couple of posts hinted, this year, instead of the city, I spent much of Semana Santa (Holy Week) in one of my favorite places — Teotitlán del Valle.
This was only the beginning. It was a colorful, moving, and delicious experience!
Posted in Celebrations, Culture, Holidays, Music, Travel & Tourism, tagged band, chanting, comida, food, Holy Monday, Holy Week, Lunes Santo, Mexico, music, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, rugs, Semana Santa, tapetes, Teotitlán del Valle, video on April 16, 2017| 9 Comments »
Posted in Celebrations, Creativity, Culture, Holidays, Travel & Tourism, tagged Holy Monday, Holy Week, Lunes Santo, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, rugs, Semana Santa, tapetes, Teotitlán del Valle, textile traditions on April 12, 2017| 3 Comments »
Well, actually not coats. These are the “casitas” (temporary homes) to house Jesús and María as they make their way through the streets of Teotitlán del Valle on Lunes Santo (Holy Monday).
The aforementioned streets include several blocks of Av. Juárez — the main street into town. Thus, I found myself being “let off” the Teoti bus by the panteón (cemetery), instead of the mercado.
How could I complain, when these guys (above) were so welcoming and offered this weary traveler a cup of agua de guanábana, a refreshing fresh fruit drink.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post, there are twelve casitas in all — each with “walls” of the colorful tapetes woven in this village known for the story-telling designs and striking colors of their rugs. Apparently, up until forty years ago, the casita walls were made of petates, the traditional woven palm mats that play a role from birth to death. But, times change, the tapetes are more colorful, and it’s good PR for this community of weavers.
As Jesús and María near, the ground is sprinkled with water and bougainvillea blossoms are scattered on the casita floor, copal incense is lit, and platters of food and drink await to feed the faithful and quench their thirst. More about that to come…
Posted in Celebrations, Creativity, Culture, Holidays, Travel & Tourism, tagged Holy Monday, Holy Week, Jesus, Lunes Santo, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, rugs, Semana Santa, tapetes, Teotitlán del Valle on April 10, 2017| 7 Comments »
Today, Lunes Santo (Holy Monday), found me in Teotitlán del Valle, as Jesús and María were carried on palanquins in a slow moving procession through town, from one temporary tapete (rug) adorned casita to another. They will make twelve stops in all.
This casita was erected by the family of the Vice President of the village Church Committee, Amado Gutiérrez, father of Porfirio Gutiérrez, of whom I have previously written.
There was food and drink and so much more to this solemn expression of faith, so please stay tuned…
Posted in Celebrations, Churches, Culture, Holidays, Religion, Travel & Tourism, tagged Easter, Festival of the Lord of the Redemption, Festividad del Señor del Rescate, Holy Monday, Holy Week, Lunes Santo, Mexico, Moon, Oaxaca, Pascuas, photographs, photos, processions, Semana Santa, Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis on March 22, 2016| Leave a Comment »
Lunes Santo (Holy Monday), at least here in Oaxaca, brings the Festividad del Señor del Rescate (Festival of the Lord of the Redemption). I was clueless, until I ran into my neighbor Juan as he was returning from work. He recommended that I and my camera check out the action in the vicinity of the Basílica de la Soledad. I grabbed my keys and little Lumix and off I went.
I heard the rhythmic beat of the tambor and chanted prayers before I saw El Señor and his followers paused in front of the bunker at the entrance to the Comisión de Seguridad Pública, Vialidad y Protección Civil headquarters on Av. Morelos. An ironic or fitting (?) site for the handcuffed Jesus to stop on the Víacrucis por la Reconciliación y la Paz (Way of the Cross for Reconciliation and Peace).
On this Lunes Santo, the (almost) full moon watched standard bearers navigate the maze of overhead wires as the procession continued to wind its way through the city’s streets. As for me, I returned home to eat dinner — there is so much going on, one has to pace oneself.
Posted in Celebrations, Churches, Culture, Food, Holidays, Religion, Travel & Tourism, tagged Easter, Estaciones de la Cruz, Lunes Santo, Mexico, Oaxaca, photographs, photos, popular travel destinations, ritual procession, Semana Santa, Stations of the Cross, tapetes, Teotitlán del Valle, Via Crucis on March 26, 2013| 4 Comments »
Lunes Santo (Holy Monday) in Teotitlán del Valle provided another moving and memorable experience. For some unknown reason, the village re-enacts the 14 stations of the cross on the Monday before Easter. Following a special early morning mass at the Templo de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo, statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary are hoisted on platforms and carried from the church to signal the start of the day-long pilgrimage. They are led by a band playing a mournful and dissonant tune as they set off to wind their way through the cobblestone streets of Teotitlán.
“Stations” are set up along the route by designated families — some are decorated with the village’s famous woolen tapetes (rugs). Tamales, non alcoholic beverages (alcohol, even the ubiquitous mezcal, is forbidden during Semana Santa), and nieves (ices) are offered at others. At all, the appropriate prayers are read, incense of copal is burned, and offerings, including of corn and lilies, are made. And, as always, children have important roles to play.
The procession is solemn and dignified and filled with pre-Columbian, along with Catholic, tradition and symbolism. Like all the other ritual celebrations in Teotitlán del Valle, these are not performed for the benefit of tourists — they are some of the strands of the warp and weft that have woven this community together for thousands of years.