Semana Santa Celebrations – Viernes de Dolores


IMG_5662One of the most revered celebrations of Semana Santa in San Miguel de Allende is the Friday of Sorrows – Viernes de Dolores. This event always takes place on the last Friday of lent when the Virgin of Sorrows is celebrated and honoured with altars set up in homes throughout the town. In doorways, courtyards, patios and windowsills.

The day is a way of honouring Mary – the mother of Christ – as she sat at the foot of the cross watching her son die and it ushers in the main events of Semana Santa. The custom dates back hundreds of years back to Spanish colonial times but is also unique to the State of Guanajuato which is why it’s so special here in San Miguel de Allende.

The altars colours and elements carry great symbolism to Catholic worshippers. The white altar cloth represents the purity of the Virgin Mary. The colour purple signifies pain and penitence and colours of fresh chamomile flowers signify humility (green) and beautify in body and soul (yellow).



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