EXPERIENCE OF A LIVING TRADITION
Holy Week, or the feasts of Easter, is one of the most outstanding religious celebrations in various parts of the Catholic or Christian world: celebrating the resurrection of Christ, a form of atonement for sins or personal bad actions of those who attend representations of this supposed event happened two thousand years ago of the western calendar.
In Queretaro, as in most of the Catholic world, hundreds of people joyfully attend a dramatization of the last days of Jesus Christ, whose figure marked a milestone in history and the basis of a doctrine that has survived to this day for hundreds of years. .
Each of the representations is characterized by some aspect of its realization, in the Philippines for corporal punishment, in Italy and in Spain for its ancient processions; in Mexico, the most celebrated performance is that of Iztapalapa in Mexico City for its thousands of attendees and for the quality of its stages, its costumes and the preparation of its actors for the dramatization; However, for those who visit and live in Queretaro, the celebrations of the so-called week of the week are an option to enjoy this religious tradition.
As we have said, what gives reason to this celebration of Holy Week is, for the Catholic world, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, figure that laid the foundations of this religious doctrine through teachings that were validated by the supposed miracles attributed to his grace and person. One of them, the last, to have overcome death; and, to such a great feat, its celebration deserves to begin from the events prior to its crucifixion on the hill of Calvary.
The first event that celebrates the Catholic Church, is called Palm Sunday, in which the devotees take palms, originally olive, to bless the mass, as a symbol of the day when Christ entered on a donkey to Jerusalem acclaimed by the settlers , who, it is said, placed and waved palms in their wake, having recognized the miracles that the "son of God" had performed and that were news throughout the Roman Empire in those years.
The next event is four days later, on Holy Thursday, when Jesus offers a last supper that commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people from the Egyptians and in which he announced that he would be betrayed. In the celebrations of Holy Week it is a necessary moment to recreate the washing of feet that the Nazarene does to his disciples, in great humility for a task that was designated to the servants in these Jewish commemorative dinners.
The tradition relates that after this dinner, when Christ went to the Garden of Olives to pray was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and learned by Roman soldiers. The journey towards the sentence that will take him to death begins, the passages that are represented on Holy Friday.
This day includes the most tragic moment in the history of these days of Jesus Christ, in which the Catholic world represents the judgment and punishment that the Messiah receives when he is betrayed by the same people that acclaimed him and insults him while carrying the cross where hands and feet will be pierced by gigantic nails that midday on Calvary. That same afternoon he dies -according to the biblical accounts at 3 o'clock and his body is taken down from the tree, taken to the tomb before sunset, because on Saturday the Jews were forbidden to carry out any activity and the body would have to wait until Sunday to be Embalmed
The Sabbath of Glory is actually considered the day when Jesus Christ was resurrected, however, it is until the next day that he refers to this event, because it is when the tradition tells that Mary finds the tomb empty and the last miracle is realized attributed to Christ. This Sunday of Resurrection is celebrated with solemn masses for the parishioners.
The tradition in Querétaro.
In the state of Querétaro, the celebrations of the Major Week are those of greater strength after those dedicated to the patron saints in the communities and municipalities of the entity. All are evidence of the roots of their inhabitants to the faith and the memory of their traditions, but some stand out for their longevity or for the impact among the attendees.
The Visit of the 7 Houses.
In the capital of Queretaro, for example, highlights the so-called Visit of the 7 houses, in which devout Catholics walk the streets on foot to enter seven churches on Holy Thursday in the afternoon. This visit is a symbolic approach to the pilgrimage that Christ lived 1) from the Cenacle to the Mount of Olives, 2) from the Garden of Olives to the house of Annas, 3) From the house of Annas to that of Caiphas, 4) from the house from Caiphas to the Praetorium of Pilate, 5) from the house of Pilate to King Herod, 6) from the meeting with Herod back to Pilate, and 7) from the house of Pilate to Calvary.
This pilgrimage is possible for the people thanks to the past deeply linked to the establishment of different religious orders in Querétaro, which can be observed in the proximity between the 18 churches that are in the center of the city and that appreciates the religious tourism that visits the capital.
The Procession of Silence.
This event is the religious representation that has caused the most impact among those attending the Historic Center during these days of Holy Week, since the journey of these hooded martyrs, who leave the Temple of the Cross and return to the end at the same place, recreates a The atmosphere is heavily mournful over the first pictures of the capital.
Some of the main streets of the center are filled with admired assistants who observe the hundreds of hooded men carrying their crosses; the rumor of the chains crawling on the cobbles, the friction of the heavy timbers of the crosses, the murmurs of the people and the tragic images that the religious brotherhoods carry on their shoulders, mix with a rarefied silence and the distant sound of life beyond the route. Undoubtedly something that fascinates local and national tourists who visit us every year.
Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is probably the oldest representation in Querétaro, since it began in 1865 and since 1962 has not been interrupted in this neighborhood located in the municipality of El Marqués.
This representation has a number close to 100 participants, not counting the 40 people in charge of the staff, scenography and organization, or all those families that support with food, support in kind and in the costumes of the actors; all united to represent one of the most complete scripts of these biblical passages in the state.
The route of the actors extends to 1.8 kilometers, and added the representations of Palm Sunday, those of Thursday and Good Friday, add more than 10 hours of function. Something worthy of recognition, and what better way to attend.
The festivities of Holy Week acquire a different hue at the head of one of the most beautiful municipalities of the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro, San Joaquín. Here, although of brief representation (since it only takes place on Friday), the esplanade of the municipal presidency, the slopes of its streets for the route and the Mirador de las Crucitas, are ideal for this purpose, with the addition of the beautiful natural landscapes that surround and compose this municipality.
In addition, the community of San Joaquín dresses up this celebration with the traditional "Baile Endiablado" the day after the representation of Holy Week, where several young people, boys and girls, all disguised and masked, dance on the esplanade under the rhythm of popular music and of the traditional huapango that could not miss.
Finally, we find one of the festivities where there is a palpable syncretism between Catholic religiosity and the colors of the original peoples of the Sierra Gorda.
It all begins the day after Palm Sunday, when, with their masks and costumes, the traditional figure of the flachicos and diablitos are directed in wanderings of mischief to the chapels of the communities to take the images to the parish of the municipal seat. , where they protect the whole week.
On Thursday, the children and young people carry out the representations of the biblical passages of the week, accompanied by the drums and the sound of reed flutes. The next day, the people of the communities that have come to the hearth to enjoy the festivities go to Calvary, and at night, in the chapels of their communities, they perform wakes and sing prayed with the music of the flutes. and the drums; until, finally, on Resurrection Sunday they are taken back to the chapels of their communities and life returns to normal.
This is how Holy Week is lived in the beautiful and multifaceted state of Querétaro, with different options to enjoy this tradition during this vacation.