Tuesday, March 30, 2010
EASTER In the Philippines
Easter is an intensely religious period of observance in the Philippines. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are all Official holidays. The period is sadly observed as “the day God died” and on Maundy Thursday all the shops close, nearly all traffic stops, and silence reigns throughout the country as people somberly attend their local church masses. Even Philippines Airlines’ flights stop and do not resume until Saturday in a strict observance of the period.
Beginning that Thursday night, and every evening afterwards, long processions of people, many carrying floats displaying statutes of “Mama” Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and various Saints, walk through the neighborhoods gathering additional followers as they go while reciting the Stations of the Cross and the Rosary. On Easter morning, before dawn, every neighborhood church presents a widely attended Passion Play at the end of the procession and then at dawn everyone attends Mass.