Holy Week and Easter, 2011

Last week, Christians around the world celebrated Holy Week and Easter, commemorating the final days of Jesus Christ -- his return to Jerusalem, his crucifixion, and his resurrection. Families attended church services, hooded penitents took part in processions, and children hunted for Easter eggs. In Catholic passion plays, participants depicted Jesus' trial and death. Other local rituals drew heavily on earlier pre-Christian traditions. Collected here are images from several Holy Week and Easter activities this year. [38 photos total]

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Joe Sanchez hangs on the cross during a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus at Our Lady of Sorrows Church outside El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico, on April 22, 2011. (Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi) #
Franc Grom displays one of his special Easter eggshells drilled with more than 20,000 holes in Stara Vrhnika, some 50 kilometers from Ljubljana, Slovenia, on April 22, 2011. Grom, a 70-year old Slovenian craftsman, has been making Easter eggshells into ornaments for the last 18 years. (Hrvoje Polan/AFP/Getty Images) #
A boy prepares to leap over a bonfire during a folk festival called Chiakokonoba in Tbilisi, Georgia, on April 20, 2011. In keeping with ancient superstition, people purge themselves of evil spirits by jumping over the fire on Wednesday night during Holy Week. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili) #
A man plays guitar in the earthquake-ravaged Cathedral of Port-au Prince, Haiti, before the Easter Eucharist on April 21, 2011. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Penitents takes part in the El Rico brotherhood procession during Holy Week in Malaga, Spain, on April 20, 2011. (Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images) #
Pastor Doug Western leads his congregation in an Easter sunrise service at Kendale Acres Free Will Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina, on Sunday, April 24, 2011. The church is just about the only structure still standing in the neighborhood after tornadoes ripped through the area last week. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds) #
Penitent Ruben Eniaje holds up two of the custom-made three-inch stainless steel nails that will be used for his crucifixion on Good Friday in Cutud, San Fernando Pampanga, in northern Philippines on April 21, 2011. Dozens of penitents were crucified on wooden crosses on Good Friday as part of their annual reenactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (Reuters/Erik de Castro) #
Pope Benedict XVI holds a candle during the Easter Vigil Papal mass on Holy Saturday on April 23, 2011, at St Peter's Basilica at The Vatican. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman runs as men throw water at her as part of traditional Easter celebrations in Holloko, Hungary, 100 km (62 miles) east of Budapest, on April 14, 2011. Locals from the World Heritage village of Holloko celebrate Easter with this traditional "watering of the girls," a tribal fertility ritual rooted in the area's pre-Christian past. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) #
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the Christian Orthodox Holy Fire ceremony in Jerusalem's Old City on April 23, 2011. (Reuters/Baz Ratner) #
Before the the start of the Burlington Rotary Club and Burlington Bees Easter Egg Hunt, one-year-old Kinley Mathias rushes into the field of Easter eggs, chased by her mother Rachael Brown, on Saturday April 23, 2011, at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. (AP Photo/The Hawk Eye, John Lovretta) #
A woman rides a decorated horse to obtain blessings for men and beasts at the St. George church near Traunstein, southern Germany, on Monday, April 25, 2011. The traditional procession has been held on Easter Monday for over 300 years. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #
An "empalao" penitent takes part in the Good Friday procession along a street in Taxco, Mexico, on April 22, 2011. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images) #
On the eve of Holy Week, a girl wearing a penitent\'s hood takes part in a procession at a school in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, on April 15, 2011. (Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo) #
Christian pilgrims pray at Church of the Holy Sepulcher during the Good Friday procession on April 22, 2011, in Jerusalem, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #
A bungee jumper dressed in a rabbit costume dives to celebrate Good Friday in Kuta, Bali, on April 22, 2011. (Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/Getty Images) #
In Croatia, penitents dressed as Roman soldiers hold helmets during a church mass in the fishing village of Sumartin on the Adriatic island of Brac on April 24, 2011. (Reuters/Matko Biljak) #
Coptic Orthodox Christians attend a mass on Easter Sunday in a church in Cairo, Egypt, on April 23, 2011. (Reuters/Asmaa Waguih) #
A statue of Jesus Christ is covered with a plastic sheet to protect it from the rain during the Good Friday procession in the northwestern Spanish village of Bercianos de Aliste, near Zamora, on April 22, 2011. (Rafa Rivas/AFP/Getty Images) #
The shadows of hooded penitents at the "el baratillo" brotherhood procession, part of Holy Week in Seville, Spain, on April 20, 2011. (Cristina Quicler/AFP/Getty Images) #
A penitent from the "San Gonzalo" brotherhood walks toward the church to take part in a procession in Seville, Southern Spain, Monday, April 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) #
A child dressed as an angel lifts the veil over a statue of Mother Mary during an Easter mass outside St. Domingo Church in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, on April 24, 2011. The traditional Salubong mass reenacts the meeting of the Risen Christ and the sorrowful Mother Mary on the dawn of Easter Sunday. (Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images) #
A parade goer models her bonnet made of flowers during the 2011 Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival on the Streets of Manhattan on April 24, 2011, in New York City. (Jemal Countess/Getty Images) #
Pope Benedict XVI holds a cross as he leads the "Urbi et Orbi" blessing in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 24, 2011. In his Easter message to the world on Sunday, Pope Benedict lamented that the day's joy was marred by war in Libya and urged Europe to welcome desperate migrants fleeing strife in north Africa. (Reuters/Max Rossi) #
Members of an Orthodox community take part in an Easter service at a church in the village of Poteryaevka, some 200 km (124 miles) southwest of the city of Barnaul in Russia's Altai region, on April 24, 2011. (Reuters/Andrei Kasprishin) #
A man performs as a devil during a Holy Week Via Crucis in Masaya, Nicaragua on Thursday, April 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #
A penitent takes part in the procession of "San Gonzalo" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain on April 18, 2011. (Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo) #
Belarus Catholics celebrate Easter in Minsk on April 24, 2011, during weekend Easter celebrations. (Alexey Gromov/AFP/Getty Images) #
People participate in "Los Encadenados," or "The Chained Ones" procession on Good Friday during Holy Week in Masatepe, Nicaragua on Friday, April 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix) #
Penitents take part in the "Signuri di li Fasci" Good Friday procession in Pietraperzia, a small town in central Sicily near Caltanissetta on April 22, 2011. (Marcello Paternostro/AFP/Getty Images) #
Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers celebrate the Holy Fire ceremony at the Ethiopian section of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher April 23, 2011 in Jerusalem's old city, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #
Spanish legionnaires sing an anthem as they carry a statue of the Christ of Mena during the Holy Week in Malaga, southern Spain, April 21, 2011. (Reuters/Jon Nazca) #
An actor dressed as a demon whips a resident during a ceremony as part of religious activities to mark the start of Holy Week in Texistepeque, Santa Ana, El Salvador on April 18, 2011. Participants receive lashes from the actors, also know as Talciguines, as punishment for their sins. (Reuters/Luis Galdamez) #
Revelers hold flares during pre-Easter celebrations in the city of Agrinio, western Greece, late on Good Friday, April 22, 2011. The celebration, known as "saitopolemos" in Greek, dates back to Greece's 1821-32 war of independence against the Ottoman Empire. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) #
Bernadette Saavedre walks along the side of the road as she makes her pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, New Mexico April 23, 2011. Thousands of people walk to the little chapel over Easter weekend, where they believe the dirt inside holds the power to heal, some from as far away as Mexico and Colorado. (Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi) #
Frank Simmonds carries the cross in the Way of the Cross procession over the Brooklyn Bridge on April 22, 2011 in New York City. The traditional Catholic procession on Good Friday recalls the crucifixion of Jesus Christ ahead of Sunday's Easter holiday. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images) #
A girl wearing a traditional mantilla dress takes part in the procession of "Gitanos" brotherhood during Holy Week in the Andalusian city of Malaga, southern Spain, April 18, 2011. (Reuters/Jon Nazca) #
A man prays on April 24, 2011 after an Easter mass was given by Abidjan archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa at the Saint Paul Cathedral of Abdijan, Ivory Coast. Abidjan archbishop appealed for "forgiveness, reconciliation and peace" among Ivorians in an Easter message read in all parishes across this sprawling metropolis. "Ivory Coast must be a land of friendship and brotherhood, whether you are Muslim or Christian, from the north or the south, black or white, from here or from elsewhere," he said in the wake of the recent post-electoral violence that ended April 11 with the arrest of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo. (Kambou Sia/AFP/Getty Images) #

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