Holy Week – It’s more fun in the Philippines

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines, which only means it is a great time to visit.

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson | Additional Photos by Tourism Philippines

Crucifixion in Pampanga, Philippines, during the Holy Week

Crucifixion in Pampanga, Philippines, during the Holy Week (Photo courtesy of http://www.tourism-philippines.com)

Lent has several names in the PhilippinesSemana Santa, Mahal na Araw, Holy Week – however you call it, one thing is certain: it is a BIG DEAL in the Philippines (but self-flagellation & crucifixion are not!)

For meat lovers, however, a word of warning: it is probably the only time when the Philippines turns vegetarian, or fishetarian for the not-too-religious.

Being a predominantly Catholic country, Lent is a significant religious festival in most parts of the nation’s 7,107 islands. It is elaborately celebrated with gruesome re-enactments of the final hours of Jesus’ life, where real penitents wear makeshift crowns of thorns, whipping themselves in silent processions and ending with crucifixion, for real!

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