Easter / Semana Santa in Quito is a time of year that maintains various traditions and activities of a religious and cultural nature. There are a number of religious events that fuse old customs with new celebrations. Quito is a Catholic city that embraces these days the demonstration of its faith, with rites that ceased to be practiced in Europe and in Quito continue to be celebrated as part of our culture.
Non-believers can be part of Easter, attending events of an artistic and historical nature, as well as enjoying a unique gastronomy. The most outstanding dish is called “fanesca” which is a soup with 12 ingredients, in which different types of grains from the Andean zone are mixed with cod, to achieve an extraordinary preparation.
HOLY WEEK EVENTS
1. PALM SUNDAY PROCESSION
This celebration dates back to the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. People received him with palms and olive branches, which were symbols of peace. Adults and children gathered and he was celebrated as king of the Jews.
This reception was similar to that given to kings or heroes as recognition of their triumphs of conquest or war, with palms of the date leaves that were the synonym of victory, while for Jesus´ followers they meant martyrdom.
This gave rise to the celebration of Palm Sunday throughout the world, remembering the welcome that was given to Jesus.
In America the white palm is used, along with rosemary and basil. In Quito, due to our artisan tradition, the palm branches are woven into crosses, baskets, flowers, and butterflies. With these palm arrangements, the people of Quito welcome Jesus Christ in a religious ceremony, in which the palms are blessed. The faithful keep the palms in a special place in their homes.
In Plaza San Francisco we can see a great variety of these handcrafted elements, which symbolize the beginning of the Holy Week “Semana Mayor” in Quito.
2. PALM BRANCHES BLESSING AND FIELD MASS
3. PROCESSION OF THE ANDAS, IN PUÉLLARO
It is a night procession that continues to be observed in Quito and takes place in very few other places in the world. In it the Passion of Christ is remembered.
Along the way, 12 stops are made in which the contents of biblical passages such as Prayer in the Garden, The Crown of Thorns, The Lord of the Column, among others, are reviewed.
4. ARRASTRE DE CAUDAS / DRAGGING OF THE TRAINS
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito is the scene of the Arrastre de Caudas. This is a Roman tradition, in which the armies of that time paid homage to one or more generals killed in battle. In this ceremony the general’s body was covered with a black cloak, and then this cloak was slipped over all the soldiers, who were in mourning dress. When the general’s cloak was draped over the entire troop, the spirit, strength and bravery of the dead general was supposed to be transmitted to the soldiers.
This is a rite with more than 500 years in Quito, in which the Catholic Church honors Jesus. In this case a cape is carried through the Cathedral to convey the virtues of Jesus Christ, dead on the cross, to all his followers.
5. TOUR OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES
6. PROCESSION OF LIGHT
7. PROCESSION JESUS DEL GRAN PODER. HISTORIC CENTER
After the celebration of the Via Crucis, one of the most important practices of prayer in the Catholic world, in which all the moments prior to the crucifixion and burial of our Lord Jesus Christ are remembered, the Franciscan community of Quito is in charge of the procession, in which thousands of believers and devotees who come annually participate as a sign of faith.
It is estimated that in recent years, around 250,000 thousand people have participated in the procession, in addition to the thousands of spectators that overflow the Historic Center. The procession begins at 12:00, in memory of the time in which Pontius Pilate condemned Jesus to death. For the 2018 procession, approximately 2,000 people registered to actively participate in it. Many people join this group without prior registration.
Among those who participate are: Cucuruchos, along with Verónicas, who are the traditional figures that accompany Jesus del Gran Poder and Virgin Dolorosa on this journey, that begins and ends in San Francisco on a circuit that includes the Cuenca, Rocafuerte, Venezuela streets and to the north, Manabí, Vargas, José Friofrío, Venezuela, Manabí, García Moreno, Rocafuerte, Cuenca streets.
Cucuruchos symbolize the penitents, who, with their faces covered and dressed in purple, show their repentance and their will to change. The Verónicas are the women who remember the one who approached Jesus while going to Calvary and wiped his face covered in sweat and blood and on whose canvas the face of Jesus Christ would have been impregnated. In Quito, the Verónicas also wear purple and their faces are covered with a black veil.
The procession lasts until approximately three in the afternoon, the time of the Lord’s death, and the descent takes place at six in the afternoon, the time the day ends for the Jewish.
In many churches, the celebration of the Seven Words takes place as part of the descent ceremony, in which the priest, from the pulpit, narrates how the holy women and a group of Apostles were in charge of burying Christ.
8. PROCESSION JESÚS DEL GRAN PODER. SOUTH OF QUITO
9. PROCESSION OF SILENCE
This is smaller procession. It is a neighborhood commemoration, where people dressed as Nazarenes participate. Their outfit is a hooded robe that covers almost the entire face of the characters, and there are also Verónicas.
It begins in the Santo Domingo Plaza, going through the streets: Rocafuerte, Salvador, Bolívar, Montúfar, Pereira, Flores, Sucre, García Moreno, Rocafuerte to return and finish again in Santo Domingo.
10. LA MERCED PARISH - HOLY FRIDAY- DEVILS PROCESSION
The Procession begins at 11:00 in the San Francisco neighborhood, it is the representation of the last days of Jesus. As main characters of this activity are the “holy souls”, with their turbans from 3 to 5 meters high.
The pingullero (a middle-aged musician who plays a drum and who inherited his art from parents or grandparents) accompanies the procession with funeral sounds.
At 15:00, the Ceremony of the Seven Words is celebrated. The local church is adorned with olive and rosemary branches representing Mount Calvary.
At the end of the ceremony, when Christ is dead, camaretas are thrown and devil characters take over the parish, frightening the attendees.
11. BLESSING OF FIRE IN ALANGASÍ
It is a celebration in which the community priest repeats “Glory, glory, glory”, in a dark mass in a celebration of Jesus rising from the dead.
In the Plaza Central a “chamiza” is lit representing hell. Hearing these words, the devils go terrified into the fire, as the representation of the triumph of good over evil.
12. PROCESSION OF THE SOLITUDE OF MARY
This procession is one of the most important, after the passion of Christ. It is a reminder of part of the journey that Christ had, that led to resurrection, and the spiritual journey of Catholics that ends on Easter Sunday.
During the procession of the solitude of Mary, Christians walk together with the Mother of God who goes to meet her Son, with the savior already risen in life and hope. Therefore, the procession of the Solitude of Mary does not mean mourning, it is a procession of hope and joy for the preparation of the Easter feast, passing from bodily death to life in the spirit.
The route goes through the streets Junín (Plaza de San Marcos), Montúfar, Chile, Av. Pichincha, Inclana, Silva, Texeira, Jijón and Junín.
13. PONTIFICAL MASS OF THE RESURECTION OF CHRIST
During Easter, the city is covered with special decorations on the stone crosses that are in different places in the historic center, which are placed with flower arrangements to highlight this important season.
The traditionally decorated crosses are those of Churches: La Concepción, San Agustín, El Sagrario, La Catedral, La Compañía, El Carmen Alto and San Francisco.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SACRED MUSIC
LA TRADICIÓN DE COMER FANESCA
CONCEPTO: “EL LADO DULCE DE LA FANESCA”
Tomando siempre en cuenta la sostenibilidad de los ingredientes y el origen andino de la preparación, se pretende mostrar el lado dulce de la fanesca. Se evaluará con especial énfasis todos los postres y dulces que acompañan esta quiteña tradición culinaria
A partir de la época colonial y republicana del Ecuador, el dulce fue introducido en las cocinas ecuatorianas con la llegada de la caña de azúcar y las dulces tradiciones de los conventos españoles. En este sentido, las preparaciones culinarias combinaron productos locales con el uso de la panela y el azúcar. Tanto en la oferta turística gastronómica de la ciudad como en las cocinas de los hogares, la fanesca se acompaña con diversas preparaciones dulces parte de nuestra historia y tradición.
En la ciudad de Quito se preparan: higos con queso, arroz con leche, morocho dulce, pristiños. La tradicional Torta Negra de Jueves Santo, que se preparaba como parte del ayuno de Semana Santa. Entre muchos más, se combinan con la gastronomía de todo Ecuador como: huevos mollos, buñuelos con miel, queso tierno, chocolate, dulce de zapallo, de achogchas, chucula de maduro, pan de jueves santo.
En las zonas rurales existen arraigadas tradiciones culinarias, donde todavía se prepara la fanesca en honor al Pawkar Raymi (fiesta ancestral del agua y de las flores) y dulces con los productos que la tierra brinda en esta época de florecimiento. Se pretende mostrar la tradición dulce de la ciudad de Quito en la época de Semana Santa.
Temporary Holy Week tour in the Convent of the Augustinian Mothers
If you have a morning:
If you have a day:
If you have two or three days:
© All rights reserved
Quito Turismo - Visit Quito
© All rights reserved
Quito Turismo - Visit Quito