Easter Parade (Semana Santa)

Easter Parade (Semana Santa)

25 March 2018, Larantuka, East Flores

Semana Santa is a holy week that is celebrated every year in Larantuka one week before Easter Sunday. Thousands of Catholic pilgrims from Flores and Indonesia travel to Larantuka for the week to participate in a 7km holy parade where the statues of Jesus Christ (locally known as Tuan Ana) and Virgin Mary (locally known as Tuan Ma) and baby Jesus leads the procession. The holy statues are usually kept hidden for the rest of the year, but they are on display during the week, which makes the event even more special. It was said that Portuguese missionaries Gaspar do Espírito Santa and Agostinho de Madalena brought the statues to the island in the 16th century. Semana Santa begins on Shackled Wednesday with prayers where devotees remember the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. On Maundy Thursday they prepare the route with candles for the following day’s 7km procession. The climax of the week falls on Good Friday when the door of the chapel opens at 10am. The whole procession starts and ends at the Katedral Reinha Rosary. Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday mark the end of the holy celebrations.

*Photo by Valentino Luis

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