Puerto Rico’s more than 3.5 million people are mostly Roman Catholic and tend to be “more religious” than in most of the West. Therefore Easter is a significant celebration here.
|2019||19 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|21 Apr||Sun||Easter Sunday|
|2020||10 Apr||Fri||Good Friday|
|12 Apr||Sun||Easter Sunday|
The build-up to the Easter season begins during “Carnaval,” which is a week-long feast and “party” held just before the beginning of the 40-day-long fast of Lent. When Ash Wednesday arrives, however, the mood suddenly shifts. Many attend mass and begin their Lenten diet, which usually does not include meats except fish.
During Ash Wednesday mass, you will see crosses of ash on worshipers’ foreheads, a reminder of the frailty of human life.
When Palm Sunday arrives, so does Holy Week. At churches throughout the island, you will see people carrying about palm branches, as did the crowds who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago. Interestingly, the palm branches are later burned and the ashes saved for Ash Wednesday next year.
Good Friday, is the most solemn day of the year in Puerto Rico. Christians believe that it is the day on which Christ shed his blood on the cross for sinners, and many attend church on this day to hear of his death and its significance. On Holy Saturday, many will attend midnight masses to await Easter Morning, and services are also held on Easter Day.
There are also commercialised and less religious elements to Easter celebrations in Puerto Rico. You may find an egg hunt and buy chocolate bunnies in the stores. But the religious aspect is dominant with most people.