In my grandma's town where my mom grew up, each of the more established families own and care for a holy statue. These life size statues live in the homes of the family where they are treated like a revered family member. Every expense is given to their care, their elaborate dresses and costumes and jewelries. Many, many thousands of pesos are spent on the decorations and fresh flowers that adorn their floats.
During my grandmother's time, our family was the only one with 2 floats. We owned the statue of Mother Mary and the Christ Jesus asleep in the coffin. Since my grandmother's death, the dead Jesus has been given to another family to be cared for. However, we have retained ownership of Mother Mary.
Mother Mary retains her role as the most revered statue of the town. She goes through 3 costume changes within the short week. She is the one that starts the Holy Week procession in her typical blue attire, and is the one to bring up the end of the procession dressed in black on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, she is dressed and adorned in the most beautiful of dresses and jewelries and holds her court in the church plaza. Here she is greeted by angels (towns little girls) and an entire program is dedicated to her unveiling and the celebration of Jesus' resurrection.
This very short synopsis does not even come close to the impact and importance of this custom to the people. Aside from the religious aspect of the entire Holy Week festivities, family name, family status, etc. all come into play. It matters where your order is in the procession, who pulls the float, where in the church your statue is displayed, etc. Everything is overwhelming!
But the real beauty of it all is the dedication of these people, the belief in their religion and the amazing sacrifices that all go through to make this one week, a week to remember for the whole year through. As an adult, I have only ever heard of the 3 hour long procession before dawn, to pray around the town and end up greeting the sun by the water's horizon.
I remember alot of this, being there as a little girl, but I wish that I can now experience it as an adult when I KNOW and understand all of its meanings.
I give credit to my cousin Dolly who took these pictures of the Holy Wednesday procession back home. I wish that I could show you ALL the pictures to attempt at recreating the greatness of this week in this town.
I will try to share with you Mother Mary on Friday and Mother Mary again on Easter Sunday.