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April 10, 2009

Holy Week

Christian communities around the world are currently celebrating Holy Week - both the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. Holy Week commemorates the last week of the earthly life of Jesus Christ culminating in his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Observances range from the elaborate and fanciful to simple and reverential, and vary a great deal between communities, regions, countries, and churches. Collected here are a small sample of photographs from Holy Week observances around the world. (34 photos total)

Women wearing a traditional mantilla dress take part in a procession of the "Gitanos" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian city of Malaga, southern Spain April 6, 2009. Hundreds of Easter processions take place around the clock in Spain during Holy Week, drawing thousands of visitors. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca)

Penitents take part in a procession of the "Fusionadas" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian city of Malaga, southern Spain April 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca) #

Penitents take part in the La Paz brotherhood procession in Sevilla on Palm Sunday at the start of holy week on April 5, 2009. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Colombian penitents carry an altar during Holy Week processions in Cali, Colombia on April 08, 2009. (REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga) #

The face of a statue of the Virgin Mary is seen in the chapel of "Las tres gracias" during Holy Week in Pontevedra, northern Spain, April 9, 2009. (REUTERS/Miguel Vidal) #

A hooded penitent takes part in the procession of "Santa Genoveva" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, April 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo) #

A Filipino penitent crawls on the hot pavement as he performs rites meant to atone for sins at San Fernando city, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Maundy Thursday April 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

An unidentified masked penitent is seen as he prepares his special clothes the day before the "Los Picaos" brotherhood procession in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, northern Spain, Wednesday, April 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) #

Penitents take part in the procession of "La Paz" (The Peace) brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo) #

Catholic clergy walk during the Holy Thursday procession of the Washing of the Feet inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City Thursday April 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

A man, carrying a bundle of cactus on his shoulders in penance, also holds a cross during a procession of penitents during Holy Week in Taxco, Mexico, Thursday, April 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) #

A hooded penitent takes part in the "Nuestro Padre Jesus del Gran Poder y Maria Santisima de la Esperanza Macarena" Holy Week procession in Madrid, Spain on April 9, 2009. (REUTERS/Susana Vera) #

The statue of the La Merced Virgin is carried during the "La Merced" brotherhood procession of the Holy Week in Bollullos de la Mitacion, near Sevilla, Spain on April 9, 2009. Christian believers around the world mark the Holy Week of Easter in celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of Saint Peter's Square during the Palm Sunday Service on April 5, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images) #

A masked penitent kneels as he flagellates himself during the start of a procession as part of Holy Week celebrations through the streets of Taxco in the Mexican state of Guerrero April 9, 2009. Hundreds of penitents, bound and flagellating themselves, wound through the labyrinthine cobblestone streets of Taxco, an almost 500-year-old silver mining town built into a mountainside, in one of the most dramatic and heartfelt Easter rituals staged in this fervently Catholic country. (REUTERS/Henry Romero) #

A Penitent in a "dancing of the dead" mask looks on during an Easter Holy Week procession in Verges, Spain, Friday, April 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) #

Filipino flagellants kneel in front of the church as they perform rites meant to atone for sins at San Fernando city, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2009. Many Philippine devotees practice flagellation and penitence during the holy week in rites frowned upon by church leaders in Asia's largest predominantly Roman Catholic nation. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila) #

A penitent holds up a staff, taking part in the procession of Palm Sunday brotherhood during Holy Week in Palma de Mallorca April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Dani Cardona) #

Catholic faithful hold palm fronds during Palm Sunday celebrations in Managua, Nicaragua on Sunday, April 5, 2009. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and is the start of the Catholic Church's Holy Week. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

Hooded penitents take part in the "Santa Genoveva" brotherhood procession during the Holy Week in Sevilla on April 6, 2009. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Children wearing hoods as penitents take part in a procession in a school before the start of Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain April 3, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo) #

People throw flowers during the Palm Sunday procession of the "Estudiantes" brotherhood at the start of Holy Week in Oviedo, northern Spain, April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Eloy Alonso) #

Children dressed as penitents prepare to attend the "Procession of the Torches" during Holy Week in Cidade de Goias, central Brazil April 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker) #

The procession of "San Gonzalo" brotherhood takes place during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, April 6, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo) #

Hooded penitents from the Fusionadas brotherhood take part in the procession in Malaga, Spain, Wednesday, April 8, 2009. (AP Photo/EFE, Jorge Zapata) #

A woman waits, hands folded, for the start of the "Maria Santisima de la Esperanza" procession during the Holy Week in Pontevedra, northern Spain, April 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Miguel Vidal) #

Catholics balance baskets of clothes on their heads that symbolically belong to Jesus Christ - to be washed as part of Holy Week celebrations in Chalchuapa, El Salvador, Monday, April 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Luis Romero) #

Penitents take part in the "San Bernardo" brotherhood procession during the Holy Week in Sevilla on April 8, 2009. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Christian pilgrims carry a cross into the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built over the sites where Christians believe Christ was crucified and buried, during the Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's old city on April 10, 2009. Thousands of Christian pilgrims from around the world poured into the Holy City of Jerusalem to pray along the traditional route Jesus took to his crucifixion. (DAVID FURST/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man touches a statue of Jesus Christ during Palm Sunday celebrations in Managua, Nicaragua on Sunday, April 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #

A Catholic devotee has his hands nailed on the cross as part of reenacting Christ's suffering on the cross during a Passion play as part of a religious ritual during Easter celebrations in a village in San Fernando, Pampanga, north of Manila, on April 10, 2009. Devout Catholics stage passion plays and crucifixions recounting the sufferings of Christ as part of observance of Easter celebrations in South East Asian archipelago nation of some 90 million of which 85 percent are Catholics amidst sharp criticisms from the church. (JES AZNAR/AFP/Getty Images) #

Penitents take part in the procession of "La Paz" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, April 5, 2009. (REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo) #

A penitent walks to his church to start the "San Bernardo" brotherhood procession during the Holy Week in Sevilla on April 8, 2009. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman walks toward the start of the "Maria Santisima de la Esperanza" procession during the Holy Week in Pontevedra, northern Spain, April 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Miguel Vidal) #

 
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