Procession of Silence in Patzcuaro
On Saturday during the Semana Santa celebrations, the downtown streets of Patzcuaro had an air of mysticism. Around seven in the evening, a parade of sorrowful mourners filled the streets, thus beginning the Procession of Silence. Each year, the faithful grieve the death of Jesus during this, the greatest religious event.
The Procession started at San Francisco Chruch banging their drums and playing notes on the bugle. Soon, the surrounding streets are filled with people wearing cone-shaped hoods and carrying lanterns; they calmly advance with mournful expressions. All of the participants carry emblems and religious images, crosses and candles and dress according to the colors that denote their religious denomination.
The figure of the Virgin is carried on an ornate platform on the shoulders of black dressed women. There are other saints figures carried on shoulders of men and women.
The traditional Procession of Silence originated in Spain around the thirteenth century. During this era, the Franciscan priests began practicing their “Blood Processions” in which they inflicted physical punishment upon themselves and performed sacred acts representing the passion of Christ. The ritual was brought to News Spain through the order of the Carmelitas, in the sixteenth century.