Many businesses and schools are closed all week and beginning last Friday afternoon, the valley residents headed to the coasts in droves! Seemed like a lousy time for Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to tie the knot on the beach down here, but it sounds like they pulled it off without my help!
Today is Good Friday of Semana Santa, the holy week, and most important religious holiday here in Latin America. I’ve been photographing the crosses, that virtually every family has in front of their home, during lent. They came out forty days ago and they are beautiful! Please take a few moments to check out my photo collection:
Yesterday and today are the two days that most businesses are closed, but if you are open, no alcohol may be served or sold. The country sends officials around at midnight on Wednesday to make sure all alcohol is securely put away, and then they tape up the locked cabinets so they won’t be opened again until midnight Friday. A restaurant my husband is familiar with, closed before the government officials arrived Wednesday night, so the officials taped up all the doors forbidding the restaurant from opening the following day. Fortunately, the owners knew they should not disturb the tape and went to the official’s office to plead their case. Once they could confirm the alcohol was safely locked away, they taped up the cabinets and lifted the tape on the doors so they could open for business.
Not being a Catholic, I did some reading online to find out about the Catholic traditions, and apparently to guarantee a couple of days for quiet reflection and prayer they also discourage driving on Thursday and Friday. To be clear, it is a sin to drive on these days! This doesn’t mean much in the more populated towns of the valley, but up in the hills, like here in Grecia, they are very “old school!” We ventured out mid-day yesterday, and the streets were empty with the exception of foot traffic and a couple of horses. I had not read about the, driving being a sin thing yet, so couldn’t figure out why people were giving us the “hairy eyeball,” but something told me to let my husband pick up the groceries, and head back home pronto! Needless to say, we are just going to take a walk today and leave the car at home, I mean, when a sin is this easy to avoid…
Many of the crosses I photographed will be draped with a white sash as of Easter Sunday morning. Easter is a religious holiday here, so there is no Easter bunny mania, which is great for me, because I actually forget he was coming until 5am on one Easter morning a few years back! As for our family, we will be celebrating time together by preparing meals, eating a little chocolate(just because) and enjoying the waning days of the dry season.