Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Easter, known as Semana Santa, is the most celebrated holiday in México, and a time of national vacation and "spring break" from schools.
Tourism authorities estimate that 1 of every 5 Mexicans - around 20 million people - will travel during Holy Week, and Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular beach destinations for nationals looking for a few days of fun-in-the-sun.
Semana Santa is Holy Week, which began on Palm Sunday (March 20) and will continue through Easter Sunday. Easter Week, or Semana Pascua, will follow the week after.
One of the oldest traditions in México, Semana Santa is an artistic and cultural event of major importance, with everyone - young and old, children and parents, rich and poor participating in the celebrations.
In Puerto Vallarta, locals and visitors alike participate in the religious processions and celebrations. Most of the celebrations involve solemn processions, plays, or reenactments of biblical scenes; others incorporate unusual elements into their festivities such as prehispanic dances and fireworks.
But Semana Santa is much more than a religious occasion. In fact, hundreds of people who come to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Easter are not even Catholic. Like all holidays in Latin countries, Semana Santa is also a festive occasion, a time of celebration, a time for people to come together to socialize and enjoy themselves.
The week following Easter Sunday is called Pascua, which is the celebration of the Resurrection. Pascua marks the release from the sacrifices of Lent . . . and Vallarta goes into full-on party mode! The beaches are bursting, the streets are jammed, and the Malecón is filled with people enjoying food, fireworks, and live entertainment.
While it may sound a bit chaotic, this is probably one of the most festive and exciting times to visit Puerto Vallarta. If you wish to witness the beauty of traditional Mexican culture - and enjoy the excitement of a two-week-long party in Puerto Vallarta - Semana Santa and Pascua would be well worth experiencing for yourself.
• As we begin the Semana Santa/Semana Pascua holidays, the need for blood in Puerto Vallarta increases significantly. Please consider giving the Gift of Life, keeping in mind that donation requirements in Mexico are different than in the United States and Canada. For more information, click HERE.• Since major highways throughout the country will register the greatest flow of traffic during the holidays, this is a good time to NOT be on the roads - just stay put and enjoy the festivities.