The majority of South America countries are Catholics and they have many traditions which have a religious Andean background.
Generally you will have Good Thursday, Good Friday, Saturday and Sunday as holidays. And in each country has his own traditions, food and events to celebre it.
One tradition comes from Valparaiso in Chile, where on Saturday they burn a huge puppet of Judas (who betray Jesus) and it represents the burn of the sins. The people write his own sin on a paper and burn them with Judas. But is not a sad event, carnival dances and festivity goes with the event.
In Quito, there is a celebration called “Arrastre de Caudas” which considered unique in his kind.
This is a very particular ceremony full of drama and with a very powerful symbolism born in the bosom of the Roman army. When a Roman general died, on his body a banner was waved to collect all its qualities and value. Then the flag waved over the troops to convey the courage of the deceased. This tradition began in Seville, Spain and then came to Quito with the Evangelization during the Colonial Times.
So in the Cathedral of Quito, the ceremony begins when chosen ones from the church are dressed in a black mourning for the death of Jesus, so black that it intimidates: cassock, small cape and the head covered with a hood. They walk slowly and in their hands carry the “Cauda” , a long piece of black cloth of several meters long that drag in procession through the cathedral as penance symbolizing the dragging of sins.
Meanwhile in Peru, the best celebration is in Ayacucho, where their 33 beautiful churches remember the Passion of Christ and the celebrations and rituals last 10 days!
All the streets near the main Square are cover with gorgeous tapestries made with flowers and processions with sacred images representing the history of the last days of Christ on earth.
The main day is on Sunday, after the service in the morning and after the bells of the churches sounded, the huge image of the Resurrection of Christ is carried by almost 250 men, because it could easily arrive to weigh 15 tonnes! Goes around the Main Square followed by thousands of believers and tourists.
As you see, the Easter Bunny is not the main character in the celebration, but the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ is the main event. But, nevertheless, is also a good time to enjoy with the family, friends, travel a little bit and enjoy the we are alive no matter in who or what we believe.
Happy Easter to everyone!