How Easter is Celebrated in Colombia

United States By Christy Lowry May 15, 2024

Easter in Colombia

An unforgettable travel experience is visiting Colombia during the Easter holiday, when tradition and Christian spirituality combine to create a memorable holiday experience. Learn about Semana Santa, the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, and other festivities and that make the holiday special in Colombia.

Traveling to visit family and friends in another country may require some financial preparation. If you need to send money to loved ones abroad, you can use Western Union for fast, reliable, and convenient transfers. To send money whenever you need it, visit our website or use the Western Union app to send money whenever you need it. You can also visit an agent location to send money in-person.

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Semana Santa: A Week of Devotion

Colombia’s Easter celebrations begin with Semana Santa or Holy Week, a deeply religious and week-long observance that commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Starting on Palm Sunday and concluding on Easter Sunday, Semana Santa is a time of devotion and reflection for Colombians.

Serenata de los Muertos: A Musical Tribute

One of the most distinctive Easter traditions in Colombia is the “Serenata de los Muertos,” or Serenade of the Dead. On Holy Wednesday night, people gather in the streets to sing serenades in front of houses, and blindfolded musicians play haunting melodies. This tradition honors the deceased during the Holy Week.

Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira: An Architectural Marvel

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, located just outside Bogotá, is not only an architectural wonder but also a significant pilgrimage site during Easter. Carved into the depths of a salt mine, this underground cathedral features stunning sculptures and a vast, dimly lit interior that creates a sense of awe and reverence. Many visitors come to meditate, pray, and attend special Easter services in this space.

Potaje de la Vigilia: A Lenten Tradition

During Lent, Colombians observe a meatless diet on Fridays. One traditional dish that becomes popular during this time is Potaje de la Vigilia, a hearty lentil and fish stew. Families often gather to enjoy this delicious and symbolic meal, which is both a culinary delight and an expression of faith.

Traditional Easter Meals: A Feast for the Senses

Easter Sunday marks the culmination of Lent, and families come together to celebrate with a grand feast featuring traditional Colombian dishes. Bandeja Paisa, a hearty platter featuring rice, beans, avocado, fried egg, and various meats, is a favorite choice. And for another filling meal, you can try the Lechona, a succulent whole-roasted pig stuffed with rice, peas, and spices—a true Easter delight.

Easter in Colombia is a vibrant and culturally rich experience that seamlessly blends tradition, spirituality, and celebration. From Serenade of the Dead to the awe-inspiring Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, the solemn observance of Semana Santa, and the delightful Colombian Easter meals, it’s a time for reflection, togetherness, and indulgence.

Western Union plays a significant role in these Easter celebrations in Colombia. Many Colombians working abroad use Western Union to send money back home, ensuring that their families can prepare delicious Easter meals and participate in the festivities. Whether it’s buying ingredients for Potaje de la Vigilia or covering travel expenses to attend Semana Santa events, Western Union’s reliable services help keep families connected and their traditions alive.

If you have any friends or family in Colombia, make sure they have the money they need for the holiday. Whether it’s for covering bills or assisting with other needs, you can send money back to your family. You can go online, use the Western Union app  or send money in person at an agent location.