Ecuador is one of the most visited countries in Latin America.Many foreing tourist come to the country to do a Galapagos travel or to visit the beautiful capital city Quito and its world heritage centre. And during the Easter Holiday, Ecuador is a top tourist destination, hundreds of tourists come the country to participate in the great variety of events and religious ceremonies and very rich cultural traditions.
In the country, most people are Catholic so, the Holy week (Semana Santa) is celebrated with a great variety of events and religious ceremonies and very rich cultural traditions. But also, for people who are not catholic or that do not make religion part of their lives, Easter is a time to relax from work, to travel and have fun with the friends or the family.
The Holy Week throughout Ecuador
It is part of a tradition for Ecuadorian to travel during the Easter holiday week. Most people plan to go to the beach since it is the perfect season to do it. So, the major attractions for Ecuadorians and tourist coming to Ecuador during this time are the beaches. Many people take the opportunity to do a Galapagos travel on a first class Nemo II around the beautiful islands of the archipelago.
Other people prefer to do something different and often travel to the mountains or the Oriente, as for locals and foreign tourists these places offer a range of culinary delights and beautiful landscapes to visit.
Typically, the Easter week starts the Sunday before Easter so people take the entire week off to visit different places throughout Ecuador and do different activities while participating in the different ceremonies that take place in the every city in Ecuador.
Traditionally, on Good Friday people should avoid to eat meat so they choose to prepare a traditional dish called Fanesca, a soup which main ingredients are milk and cod (usually salted ) and has a combination of grains such as corn, lentils , peanuts , beans , beans , peas and quinoa.
Although the tradition of eating Fanesca comes from Spain, people in Ecuador have given this dish a personal touch, as many of the grains are of Andean origin.
So, if you’re coming to Ecuador during this special time be sure to ask which is the best restaurant to eat fanesca and get it a try!
Other traditional foods during this time include, guaguas de pan and arroz con leche.
The processions: demonstrations of faith
The processions held on Good Friday are one of the greatest demonstrations of faith of Catholic people. In these events people tend to take long walks with figures of Jesus, crosses and even some people flagellate to simulate the pain of Christ on the cross.
The most famous processions are in the cities of Guayaquil , Quito and Cuenca and is where the highest concentration of people there .
One of the most famous is the procession of Jesus of the Great Power. It is held every year in the city of Quito. This is one of the largest human concentration in the country. The main figure of the procession is the sculpture of “Jesus the Great Power” which is a colonial relic that belongs to the Church of San Francisco but is taken out once a year to preside this famous procession. This event is an attraction both for locals and tourist who come to admire this demonstration of religious faith.
The procession of Cristo del Consuelo is also very popular. This event takes place in Guayaquil and approximately 700,000 people participate. The procession is presided by the sculpture of the “Cristo del Consuelo” on a similar demonstration of faith.
Learn more: Landscapes of the Galapagos Islands
Have you already planned your week?
Easter is one of the most religious periods of the year for Catholics in Ecuador and many rituals has rich cultural and ancestral roots.
So, if you are planning to do a Galapagos travel or any other place in Ecuador during Easter time be sure you plan your week so you can enjoy of all the beauty and traditions of the country during this special holiday and tell us about your experience!
Feliz semana santa!