This week is locally known as Holy Week, or Semana Santa When Ecuador celebrates the end of the period of Lent. Almost 80% of the population is Catholic.

These days are full of religious celebrations. The most important is held in Quito on Good Friday afternoon. A massive procession takes place where people dress up in religious costumes. The air suddenly is filled with incense and flower petals are thrown as the procession passes by. Men and women are dressed in purple robes and hoods, some carrying floats (andas) with large sculptures of Jesus on their shoulders, and big crosses as an offer to redeem themselves for their sins. All of this takes place in tune with the somber beat of the marching band in commemoration of Jesus’ last hours before his death. The procession ends with a huge mass held at San Francisco Plaza where everything began. Also similar religious demonstration take place in other cities and towns such as Alangasí, Puellaro and La Merced.

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