Tuesday, April 10, 2012

La Via de La Cruz

This means the Way of the Cross or the Walk of the Cross.  On Good Friday, La Via de La Cruz is a Catholic tradition that many people attend from different churches/districts across the city of La Paz and across Bolivia.  There were 20 or more different walks in La Paz on Friday.  My friends from here were invited by a couple who comes to their marriage class through the church, so I went along as well. 

We started in the middle of the street in a neighborhood called MiraFlores (note: middle class neighborhood).  I first noticed a large group of people (above), four of which were carrying a casket with a mannequin inside with blood stains meant to represent Jesus.  They also carried, further back in the crowd, a figure that represented Mary (who wore purple, but had a blue poncho when it started to rain).  The people in the streets walked from station to station, 14 in total, down the street.  Traffic was stopped for this procession.  Certain store owners asked that their store fronts be used for the walk (see below).  At these store fronts, the owners usually decorated, and the Jesus and Mary figures were placed on a table while the priest read verses and led prayers.   The procession in total lasted about 3 hours.   

How interesting are the different traditions in different cultures!  I know many Catholics in the U.S. do something similar to this in churches across the country for Good Friday. 

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