03 Apr TRADITIONS OF THE HOLY WEEK
One of the most popular and ancient religious celebrations of Holy Week in Panama is the interpretation on the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ that annually takes place in the town of Pese, in the province of Herrera. This is a cultural activity that gathers locals and tourists from all over the world attracted by the authenticity and uniqueness of this emblematic event that enhances the popular culture of the Panamanian central region.
For over 69 years, the town of Pese has been celebrating the live representation of the Holy Week, and this year won’t be an exception. This traditional activity is carried out among the narrow streets of this humble town, where approximately 20 thousand people from all over the country are expected to come during the Holy Week, from April 14 to 20. It was in 1950, with the arrival of the Spanish Priest Luis Angulo that were taken the first steps to organize the celebration of the Holy Week in this community. This work was carried out uninterrupted until 1984 and then resumed in 2004 with more strength.
Over the years, the community involvement has increased and nowadays the Passion of Christ representation has grown so much that there are thousands of people who visit Pese to see and live the moment of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the organizers, this event, beyond being a success, is an activity that integrates the community who actively participates in each step of the organization. They prepare themselves for months to fulfill the assigned roles within the play, however, the lack of funds is a great challenge for everyone as expenses exceed over 20 thousand dollars, including 130 volunteers who participate for free.
Through this event, organizers seek to show the message of God to thousands of visitors during the Holy Week with a simple language of spreading the word of salvation. The event starts on Holy Thursday at 6:00 p.m. with the Last Supper dramatization and Jesus Christ’s apprehension on Mount of Olives; while on Good Friday all activities begin earlier with the representation of the Passion of Christ that ends with his crucifixion.