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El Salvador

Easter 2019 and 2020

El Salvador celebrates Easter with three public holidays for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The Lenten season and all of Holy Week in El Salvador is observed in similar ways to the rest of Latin America.

201918 AprThuMaundy Thursday
19 AprFriGood Friday
20 AprSatEaster Saturday
20209 AprThuMaundy Thursday
10 AprFriGood Friday
11 AprSatEaster Saturday

The 40-day period of Lent leads up to Easter Sunday, special Palm Sunday processions, masses on Good Friday, candlelight Easter vigils on Holy Saturday, and special services on Easter Sunday itself.

There is a procession on Easter Sunday after mass, but this is not the most distinctive aspect of El Salvadorean Holy Week. Instead, it is the alfombras or “street carpets”. These are colourful designs made out of coloured rice, sawdust, or flowers, that are laid down right in the street on Good Friday.

One of the best places to see the alfombras is in the city of Sonsonate, but you can find them in other locales as well. Youth are heavily involved in preparing the materials and in doing the “street art”, with religious and other Easter messages written in this manner on the streets.