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Holy Week is here and so the Catholic and indigenous rituals blend on a rejoicing atmosphere full of cultural value. It’s the time for believers and non-believers to enjoy the music, the flavors and artistic displays of our cultural wealth. Here you’ll learn more on how Ecuador lives the Main Catholic Week
Fanesca, a 12 ingredients flavor:
As the Holy Week celebration, this special meal is only served once a year. It’s a substantial creamy soup prepared with tender grains and dried cod, a dish that merges the indigenous and Spaniard culinary traditions. Don’t miss out the opportunity to taste the Andean grains featured on this dish such as: corn, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts and many other seasonal harvest. This soup is usually served with mashed potatoes, egg and “empanadas”.
“Mushuk Nina” the Andean New Year:
“Mushuk Nina” means “New Fire” in kichwa and for the native inhabitants, mostly from the Andes, marks the beginning of the new year. A time to harmonize and reconnect with the Sun’s energy which directly influences family relations, nature and the cosmos. Along the region, the people gather on rituals to thank for the crops on a “pambamesa” another kichwa word for a “shared table” which consists on a large blanket where the community shares the recently harvested food on a communal sort of picnic.
“Arrastre de Caudas”, the only Roman ritual in Latin America:
With a funeral melody, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito revives a funerary ritual dated back to the Roman army, which was appropriated by the Catholic Church. Since the sixteenth century, Ecuador is the only country in Latin America that revives it every Holy Week on a ritual that reenacts the death of Jesus Christ, the blood of martyrdom, penance and purity. Thousands of devotees attend the act of faith and culture and carefully avoid being touched by the black flag which, legend has it, may lead to death.
Sacred music, the sounds that connects with the divinity:
Old patrimonial buildings, temples, chapels, theaters and many other venues are the scenario for musicians and musical ensembles. The International Festival of Sacred Music exposes international music fused with Ecuadorian chords and sounds that are heard in lullabies and Ecuadorian chants that highlights the musical blend in the country at center of the world.
Penance and repentance:
On Good Friday, the streets of Quito’s Historic Center get a bit crowded on a special parade to reenact the Way of the Cross. Many local penitents gather and pray at the “Jesus of Great Power” parade. “Cucuruchos” (men dressed in a purple long “capirote”, a cardboard pointed hat traditionally worn in Spain during religious festivities) and Veronicas (women representing the catholic saint who gave Jesus her veil to wipe his forehead while carrying his cross), who participate in the long and traditional procession called “Jesus of Great Power”. It’s a three hours walk that some penitent goes barefoot to show their God true repentance and pray for forgiveness.
To learn more about the festivity and ceremonies: http://bit.ly/Ecfestivities