Santa Semana – Easter Procession in Quito

An estimated quarter million people crowd into Historic Center of Quito on Good Friday for the Procession of Jesus of Great Power (Jesus de Gran Poder). Hundreds of people dressed in purple (the color of penitence) march ahead of the wooden sculpture of Jesus on the parade route that begins and ends at the Plaza San Francisco. The women known as “Veronicas”, wear purple veils. The men (“Cucuruchos”) wear long gowns, masks, and tall pointed hats, and additionally often perform other acts of penitence and humility, such as walking in bare feet, carrying heavy crosses, or wrapping themselves in barbed wire. The hot weather this Friday must have made the march even more difficult.

Veronicas Covered In Purple Veils

“Veronicas” covered in veils

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Easter Procession in Quito Ecuador

A penitent cross bearer being helped

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Purple Robes In Easter Process

Santa Semana in Quito Ecuador

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Wrapped in barbed wire

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The marchers came in all ages

Marchers In Easter Procession Chained To Their Crosses

Marchers chained to their crosses

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Not sure what the significance of the CD”s are…

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Shackled and wrapped in wire

Carved Wooden Jesus statue held aloft at the end of the procession

Carved Wooden Jesus statue held aloft at the end of the procession



The huge procession was unlike anything we had seen before, and a great insight into the culture and traditions of Ecuador.

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14 thoughts on “Santa Semana – Easter Procession in Quito

  1. The guys in the tall pointed hats, look rather frightening, did you feel that when you were there, they are like purple Klu Klux Klan men…scary! LOL 🙂 Apart from that it would have been amazing to watch.

  2. […] Santa Semana – Easter Procession in Quito […]

  3. Carol Colborn says:

    We had the same in Malaga…61 processions in all, about 7 or 8 per day. Those hoods are meant to say that all men are equal in the eyes of God!

  4. Wow. I bet this is really cool to see in person. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  5. I’m in Baños for Semana Santa right now and it’s nothing like this! I should have stayed in Quito 😉

    • We haven’t been in Baños for Semana Santa, but it’s an amazing place to visit in Ecuador! Take advantage of the great adventure travel options, and maybe visit the spa with the great visit of the whole town.

  6. Semana Santa is such a bit event in Catholic countries. Tomorrow is Easter and here in Sardinia Semana Santa Rituals are all over. Yes, as you say, it is a good way to get to know the culture and history of a country. I usually recommend these events with a guide, to better learn the rituals 🙂

    • I agree, a local guide can give you so much more first hand information. But even without a guide, a spectacle like this is worth seeing!

  7. I’ve never seen anything like this before to commemorate Easter. I must admit I would find the hooded outfits intimidating, thanks Carol for explaining the reason behind them.

  8. That was interesting, I’m so curious about these kinds of ceremonies because we don’t do them here! I would have loved to know more… where do they go after? To a church service?

  9. Shazia Chiu says:

    Wow, what an interesting event to be part of. Thank you for sharing!

  10. It’s always interesting to see how different cultures celebrate various holidays. This looks like an interesting celebration to check out–thanks for sharing!

  11. Powerful! Religious precessions are often very powerful. This would be a great one to experience.

  12. The unique celebrations of Semana Santa throughout Latin America are fascinating- thanks for sharing!

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