Easter in the Philippines

Easter, or Holy Week, is a big thing in the Philippines.  So big that even all the shops and most restaurants close.  For 2 whole days.Greenbelt is a big mall near to where we live.  It is a mixture of buildings and green space, with a large semi-open-air chapel in the middle of it.  On Ash Wednesday the chapel is so full that people have to stand outside to be part of the service.

It’s a long time since I went to Sunday School, so my memory is a little rusty regarding the significance of the various days around Easter, but I do remember that Lent takes place between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.  During Lent here in the Philippines, a number of restaurants offer special ‘Lenten menus’.  A great way of commercialising the occasion and something I’ve never seen anywhere else.

For Easter itself, the holidays are slightly different to those we celebrate in the UK.  In the Philippines, it’s called ‘Holy Week’ and the holidays are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday.  The Philippines is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, so Christmas is celebrated too.  But at Christmas all the shops and restaurants remain open.  On Maundy Thursday and Good Friday all the shops and most of the restaurants are closed.  It’s quite eery wandering around the normally thronged Greenbelt.  I captured some photos of the occasion.

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