On Good Friday (21st?) we participated in a procession around Tetelilla, Mexico. Mex had only done it once before so it wasn’t really a tradition for him but I wanted to see it. It was very hot so we only lasted for two of the about five hours it takes, from 10 am to about 3 pm. The people from town lined the streets holding lit candles and marching. In the middle of the street walked a guy (“Jesus”) with no shoes and a crown of thorns carrying a cross. In front of him walked five men, three of which held candles on tall gold poles, one held a cross, and one carried a cross with Jesus on it. Then “Jesus” was followed by men carrying a very large statue of Jesus in purple robes kneeling down while carrying the cross. There were other men who carried a tent-like thing to shade the statue. However, the guy carrying the cross had no shade… At the end of the procession were women carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary, shaded, similar to the Jesus statue.
It seemed like almost the whole town was participating. They set up different “stations” around town that were shaded, had red carpet laid down and were decorated with streamers and an altar. The procession went from station to station, putting all the statues under the shade at each one while everyone sang hymns and prayed. They all ended up at the church but Mex and I did not last that long. We stopped because it was incredibly hot and there was no shade at all. I felt so sorry for the guy carrying the 80 pound cross with bare feet but I guess his suffering was the point…
There was also a procession at night during which no one is allowed to talk. We did not go to that one because Mex started to feel sick and we were still quite exhausted from the morning. The heat here is very intense but at least when the sun goes down around 7 every thing does cool off very well. The breeze is fresh and it makes you want to sit outside all evening long. We usually spend about two hours every night sitting in his family’s open air kitchen sipping hot chocolate or tea, having
a snack and getting caught up on 13 years of stories. I stay focused for the first 4o minutes or so but then my brain starts to hurt and I begin to stare at all the fun pots on the wall. His family is wonderful and I am loving the opportunity to meet them and get to know them. They are all so nice and welcoming. It will be hard to leave but it is reassuring to know that soon we will be able to come back and visit whenever we want too!