Holy Week in the Philippines is a much awaited time in the Philippines as much as Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Its observance had been religiously upheld since Christianity was brought to the pagan country in the 16th century by its Spanish colonizers. It is a week of holiness, as well as respite from the usual humdrum of daily living.
When is the Holy Week in the Philippines in 2015?
Holy Week in the Philippines starts on March 29, 2015, a Sunday, and culminates on April 4, 2015, a Saturday.
Holy Week in the Philippines is always the last week of Lent and the week before Easter Sunday each year.
Origin and Purpose of the Holy Week in the Philippines:
The observance of the Holy Week started in the Philippines in the 16th century as brought about by the Spanish colonizers. Spain’s greatest contribution to Philippine culture and history is Christianity. For almost five hundred years, Filipinos all over the world observe the Holy Week as time for repentance and forgiveness.
Holy Week Observance in the Philippines:
Holy Week in the Philippines always starts with Palm Sunday and ends with Holy Saturday. For the whole week, two religious holidays are also strictly observed. These are the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. At the onset, Palm Sunday is observed by the blessing of palms, coconut leaves made into crosses, coconut oil, rosaries and religious statues and/or framed photos.
From Monday till Wednesday of the Holy Week, business is usual in the Philippines. The only restriction though during the week is imposed on eating meat, be it chicken, pork or beef. Only fish and vegetables are the diet of Filipinos during the Holy Week. Some Filipinos also go fasting, called “puasa,” as a way to atone for their sins and transgressions during the year.
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays in the Philippines. These two days are observed with their individual activities as passed on from generations to generations among Filipino families. The prevailing atmosphere on these days is somber, prayerful and prohibits drinking of liquor and playing of loud music.
When is the Holy Week in the Philippines in 2016?
Holy Week in the Philippines in 2016 starts on March 20, a Sunday, until March 26, a Saturday.