Desfile de Viernes Santo

As I mentioned yesterday it was Viernes Santo or Good Friday all over the world.  Many of the faithful celebrate by holding a Way of the Cross.  In my home town they hold one every year but it is nothing as elaborate as what I saw last night.

There are many carts holding the statues (in Panama I believe they name them as effigies) that are decorated with beautiful flowers.  I wandered down to sit in the square in the afternoon and enjoy the comings and goings of the preparations.  The Blessed Mother cart was being constructed in the shade of the porch of one of the houses on the square.  There were buckets and buckets of flowers that were attached, mostly white daisies and mums.   It makes sense that the carts not be constructed too far in advance of the desfile and that they be kept in the shade.

We arrived early.  Or rather we arrived at the appointed time but forgot to put our Sombrero de Panameño on.  The finishing touches were just being put on the carts and then mass was held.  SU decided that he didn’t want to wait so he went home and I stood outside the doors of the church listening to Mass with a large group of people.  I think there might have been just as many of us outside as there was inside.

These were taken before Mass:

After Mass we walked down to the staging area on the edge of town by the Turismo Oficina.  A cross was erected to symbolize the crucifixion and the priest and choir stood above the crowd beside it.  As the Way of the Cross was read the attendants turned the nail on the statues feet and a liquid to signify Jesus’s suffering and blood.

After the removal of Jesus he was placed in a lit glass casket.  This was the beginning of the desfile.  As we proceeded through the pueblo there was a small choir singing and the priest would say The Rosary.  People came out of their houses as we passed even though by this time it was close to 11:00.  We circled from Calle Principal to Arriba side, back towards the square and to the other side of Central Salud (the medical clinic).  This is close to where my street is so I left the procession there.


About indacampo

You'll find me at blogging about Panama...and other things.
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6 Responses to Desfile de Viernes Santo

  1. Wonderful pictures!

  2. Kris says:

    Wow, thank you so much for posting this. What an experience and I almost felt like I was there. I wonder if something like this went on here. I’ll have to ask around. I did notice the church down the road had a couple crosses with shrouds like the one in your photo.

    • indacampo says:

      I think there is something again tomorrow night at around 8:00 pm. It’s very different from the chocolate bunnies and eggs isn’t it?


      • Kris says:

        Yes it is. I asked around and was told that it’s called a procession, not a parade since it’s a religious thing. (procesión, no desfile) I also learned that there was one in David on Friday evening. I want to go see it for myself next year. I had a hard time explaining an Easter bunny to the locals. No, we do not eat rabbit for dinner, it’s a toy that goes with the sweets.

      • indacampo says:

        Hmmm, my espaol teacher didn’t correct me today when I was talking about it. Maybe she didn’t catch my phrasing. We talked about the Easter Bunny and chocolate today too. The holiday is more solemn than ours she said, no chocolate, no bunnies.


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