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saint albino

Easter is almost here again, and for those of us in Mesilla, it’s a particularly special time of year. It’s a time of renewal, when it’s springtime and the plants are green again and flowers are blooming. It represents resurgence, rebirth and victory over death.

The traditions we have here in the southwest come from the cultures that the people are from. Here you’ll find Mexican and Spanish-influenced rituals that span everything from how we dress to what we eat!

Let’s start with what we eat. We’ve been taking a journey through Lent, and one of the biggest traditions for many of us is swearing off meat on Fridays. This is simply a way to remind ourselves of the sacrifices that Jesus made when he fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. The most common meals for many of us on Fridays consist of fish, the most common alternative to meat-based dishes.

Here at La Posta de Mesilla we introduced a Tilapia Veracruz for those who want fish, but that’s not all we have. Shrimp Fajitas, Chile Rellenos, and Red or Green Enchiladas also especially popular on Fridays through Lent and before Easter.

Then on Easter day comes feasting. And for families here you always find bowls of salsa and plenty of green chile on the tables.

The other primary traditions focus on the church and about remembering Jesus’ sacrifice. Here in Mesilla, our historic Basilica of San Albino starts the Triduum (the Three Days) on Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Then on Good Friday we remember the stations of the cross through prayers and then end the day with a candlelight procession. Finally, as in all other Catholic churches across the world, we hold an Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.

All of the holidays in the southwest are beautiful occasions, but there’s something about being here during the Easter celebrations that really help put the cultures into perspective. It helps you understand the dedication of the people that live here, how valuable our customs are and how close we are to each other.

We hope you can make it to Mesilla for Easter celebrations. If not, be sure to celebrate them where you are, and don’t forget the green chile on the table this Sunday!