Maundy Thursday in Colombia

Maundy Thursday, known as Jueves Santo in Colombia, is a significant religious event observed by Catholics and some Protestant denominations in the country. It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his Apostles and the institution of the Holy Eucharist. In Colombia, Maundy Thursday is a public holiday and falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, which changes every year based on the date of the first full moon following the vernal equinox.


The celebration of Maundy Thursday in Colombia dates back to the Spanish colonization period in the 16th century. The Catholic faith was introduced to the region by Spanish missionaries, who brought with them their religious traditions, including the observance of Holy Week. Over the centuries, Colombians have continued to observe Maundy Thursday as a crucial part of their Holy Week celebrations.


National customs for Maundy Thursday in Colombia

Across Colombia, Maundy Thursday is marked by various religious and cultural customs. One of the most important traditions is attending Mass, during which the priest washes the feet of 12 individuals, symbolizing Jesus' act of washing the feet of his Apostles. This act of humility and service is a central aspect of the Maundy Thursday liturgy in Colombia.

Additionally, many Colombians participate in the "Visita de las Siete Casas" (Visit of the Seven Houses) on Maundy Thursday. This custom involves visiting seven different churches to pray and reflect on the events of the Last Supper and Jesus' Passion. The number seven symbolizes the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and the seven places Jesus shed his blood during his Passion.

Local customs for Maundy Thursday in Colombia

In various regions of Colombia, unique local customs have developed around Maundy Thursday. One such tradition is the "Procesión de los Cristos" (Procession of the Christs) in Popayán, a city in southwestern Colombia. This procession features a solemn parade of religious statues and images through the city's streets, accompanied by prayers and hymns. The event attracts thousands of locals and tourists alike who come to witness this moving display of faith.

In Mompox, a historic town in northern Colombia, Maundy Thursday is marked by the "Procesión de la Eucaristía" (Procession of the Eucharist). This nighttime procession features a large monstrance containing the consecrated host, symbolizing the body of Christ. As the procession moves through the town's streets, locals light candles and adorn their homes with religious images and flowers to honor Jesus' sacrifice.


Maundy Thursday, or Jueves Santo, is an essential part of Colombia's Holy Week celebrations, with deep roots in the country's history and culture. The various customs and traditions observed on this day, both nationally and locally, reflect the importance of faith and devotion for many Colombians. As the country continues to evolve, these practices will likely remain a vital part of the nation's religious and cultural identity.