What do you do in your city for Easter? Do children hunt for Easter eggs? Is there a long procession or Easter show? Do you enjoy a large family meal? There’s nothing quite as unique as some of Quito’s deeply ingrained Easter traditions that are a combination of indigenous and Catholic beliefs and customs that have slowly evolved throughout the years. Now, Holy Week is one of the most celebrated holidays in Quito with many quirks that are incredibly fascinating to visitors.
On Good Friday, a religious procession known as Jesus del Gran Poder, or Jesus Almighty, takes place. Beginning in the morning at 10:30 a.m., the procession winds its way around the Historic Center and represents the crucifixion of Jesus. A parade that has been taking place for nearly a century, over 1,000 people don long purple tunics, head cones. and face coverings to represent their humility and anonymity in the faith, and become what is known as cucuruchos. The pain and suffering of Jesus are represented by some carrying the cross and others wearing real crowns of thorns. You have to see it to believe it!
Staying at Casa Gangotena during Holy Week: A Huge Advantage
Due to its location in the very center of Quito’s Old Town, Casa Gangotena is right in the middle of the action. From the Rooftop Terrace or just outside the front doors of the hotel, guests can have front-row views of the famous Jesus del Gran Poder procession, as the thousands of men, women, and children march by in silence in their solemn purple attire and anonymous crowned heads.
In addition to the front-row seats, Casa Gangotena has a deeply rooted place in the community, as it has been part of Quito since its very beginnings. Therefore, staying at Casa Gangotena during this time isn’t just staying at a hotel to watch a parade – it’s spending time at a sumptuous family home to enjoy in the festivities and learn more about the importance and background of what the Holy Week means to Ecuador.
Celebrating Holy Week at Casa Gangotena
During Holy Week, the goal of Casa Gangotena is to encourage its guests to truly delight in the experience of being in Quito at this special time of year. Until April 21, 2019, Casa Gangotena will be serving its special fanesca recipe that has been meticulously prepared and served at the hotel since it opened its doors. Fanesca is a rich traditional Ecuadorian soup that represents the twelve disciples and Jesus through the use of twelve types of grains and fish.
On Good Friday, there is something even a little more special. At noon, a special Fanesca Buffet is served to invite the guests to join the Casa Gangotena family in their traditions and Quiteño customs. Guests are invited to go up to the Rooftop Terrace to watch the purple procession beforehand and then enjoy the hotel’s renowned fanesca, based on a historic recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation. This experience isn’t just a party or a meal; it is an opportunity to take part in one of Ecuador’s most important traditions. As you sit and enjoy your fanesca, remember that every family in Quito is also enjoying a similar meal within their family homes, too, except that yours is widely considered the best fanesca in the city. Delicious!
Holy Week in Quito is all about remembrance, extravagant processions, and eating deliciously satisfying foods. Casa Gangotena is part of the city’s intricate community, and invites its guests to join in the pomp and ceremony. After all, we aren’t just a hotel – we are family!