Holy Week is one of the biggest Christian holidays and in Paraguay it’s experienced with a combination of religious celebrations and traditions that are distinctive to Paraguayan culture.
One of the biggest events is the celebration in Tañarandy (San Ignacio, Misiones), which has a massive and spectacular procession on Good Friday, with around 40,000 visitors.
Tañarandy means land of the invincible. The national artist Koki Ruiz is the leader and creator of this celebration, now known as one of the most important events of Holy Week in the country.
During the previous weeks, the whole community is responsible for preparing the 20,000 lights that will light the “Yvaga Rapé” (road to heaven), a dirt road of approximately 2 to 3 km, which is where the religious procession takes place.
The activities begin at the chapel where all the lights are lit, illuminating the road with the beauty of candlelight, and these are accompanied by the plaintive song of the stationers who bring with them the image of the Virgin to meet the Mutilated Christ (an artistic version of Jesus on the cross). The tall torches located on the side of the road also offer up an amazing light spectacle for all to see.
Altars inspired by the Baroque Guaraní style are built with corn, pumpkin and other products from the countryside and give the celebration a unique identity.
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