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Semana Santa and Easter Brunch at the Resorts

Mar 29, 2023

Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts anticipates the entire Easter season with reverence and jubilation—a balance of solemnity the week before Easter Sunday and celebration afterwards to announce the coming of Spring. We’d like to invite you to share this special time of year with us, not only for Easter brunch—though we’ll share that schedule and featured menus with you, too—but to learn and experience the cultural significance of this holiday for many people in Mexico.

In Mexico, the Easter holiday lasts two weeks. Since almost 90% of the population identifies as Catholic, the majority celebrate what they call Semana Santa, or Holy Week leading up to Easter, and Semana de Pascua, the week after Easter Sunday. Most schools and some businesses close during this time and Mexican nationals flock to the beaches to enjoy time off with their families. This is also a time reserved for religious worship by way of processions, special church ceremonies, and reenactments.

Semana Santa traditionally runs from Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) to Easter Sunday (Domingo de Pascua), but since students (and some workers) enjoy a two-week break during this time, the week after Easter is also considered part of the national holiday. The date of Easter changes each year and is calculated based on the moon's cycle and the spring equinox, with Easter falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the equinox. This year, Semana Santa and Semana de Pascua occur before and immediately following April 9th.


Mexico’s Traditions

Despite the coastal crowds, Easter's religious observances do not take a back seat to beach fun in Mexico. Processions and passion plays (those that represent the stations of the cross and Jesus’ road to crucifixion) take place all throughout the country, and are celebrated in different ways in different communities. Large, rather elaborate Holy Week celebrations can be found en grande in the cities of Taxco, Pátzcuaro, Oaxaca City, and San Cristobal de las Casas.

On the Sunday prior to Easter, known as Palm Sunday or Domingo de Ramos, Catholics commemorate the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. According to the Bible, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, while the townspeople laid down palm branches in his path. Many towns and villages in Mexico reenact Jesus's triumphal entry with a procession, and woven palm fronds are sold outside of churches.

The Thursday of Holy Week is known as Maundy Thursday or Jueves Santo, a day that commemorates the washing of the feet of the apostles, the Last Supper, and Jesus's arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. Many Mexicans will keep the tradition of visiting seven churches to honor the vigil the apostles kept while Jesus prayed before his arrest. They’ll also attend a foot-washing ceremony, and, of course, take part in a mass with Holy Communion.

Good Friday, or Viernes Santo, observes Jesus’ crucifixion. On this day, solemn religious processions take place in which statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary are carried through towns alongside dramatic recreations of His death on the cross. Participants often dress in costume to depict the era of Jesus' life. The largest reenactment takes place in Iztapalapa, south of Mexico City, where more than a million people gather for the Via Crucis (The Way of the Cross).

On Holy Saturday, or Sabado de Gloria, some communities still burn an effigy of Judas (to signify his betrayal of Jesus), however, this tradition is now a celebratory one, with cardboard or papier-mache figures made to be burned with firecrackers. Often the Judas figures are made to look like Satan, but sometimes they are made to resemble controversial political figures. One place this tends to happen on a large scale is San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato.

And finally, on Easter Sunday, or Domingo de Pascua, most people attend mass at a Catholic church and celebrate at home quietly with their families. However, in some places, festivities include fireworks and jubilant processions with music and dancing. Church bells are silent throughout Holy week, but ring again on Easter Sunday. Oh, and don’t expect any mention of the Easter Bunny; there are no chocolate bunnies or Easter eggs to be found here. But there are lots of good things to eat. Most Semana Santa events are held outdoors so there is a lot of street food (antojitos) available, and since the dietary restrictions of Lent (the 40 days before Easter Sunday) are now lifted, food can include meat again. But the celebratory staples– depending on what part of the country you are in–tend to be cheese pambazos (a Mexican white bread), fried fish, plantain dishes, tamarind, and fruit.

For the week following Easter, since Mexico schools schedule their "spring break" at this time, most families travel to the beach. So if you plan to go there, too, be prepared for beachside celebrations complete with camping, barbecuing, and partying. Many tourist attractions will also be crowded around this time. Be sure to book your stay with us well in advance. 


A Sunday Brunch to Remember

Which brings us to brunch! Who’s hungry? We have a great lineup with nine of Pueblo Bonito’s finest restaurants serving an Easter brunch, some as part of the All-Inclusive plan. If you don’t celebrate Easter, consider it an elaborate Sunday Brunch instead. All are welcome!

Montecristo will serve brunch on April 9th from 8 am to 2 pm as will Pueblo Bonito Rosé and Los Cabos. For those not celebrating the holiday, consider it, a Brunch Buffet with Easter amenities. Mare Nostrum and Siempre restaurants’ Easter meals are included with the All-Inclusive Plan. All non-AI adult guests at Mare Nostrum can can expect to pay $40, while children cost $20. Non-AI guests are Siempre can expect to pay $80. La Nao Restaurant is also hosting guests as part of the all-inclusive plan. Those without the AI Plan can expect to pay $73. Pueblo Bonito Sunset will offer a Brunch Buffet from 7 am to 2 pm on Easter Sunday. Last, but certainly not least, probably one of the most elaborate Brunch offerings is at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, where from 7 am to 2 pm, they’ll be serving up a Brunch Buffet with Cooking Stations, and a delectable selection of live music. 

What’s on the menu? What isn’t! Expect all your brunch-time favorites like thick and crispy belgian waffles, fluffy and sweet buttermilk pancakes, eggs any way, juicy fresh fruit, mouthwatering juices, hot coffee drinks, flaky pastries, and local Mexican dishes with sauces, spices, and accouterments you simply can’t get at home. Our chefs promise to deliver something truly special for the occasion. So what are you waiting for? Whatever your beliefs, come and be a part of this season with us at your sunny home away from home.

Book your stay at Pueblo Bonito Resorts Today!