Week of observances

Religious ceremonies, some solemn, some joyous, took place around the world this week. Holy Week is observed by many different Christians before Easter. The Jewish holiday of Passover is celebrated for a week, and the New Year festivals of Vaisakhi and Thinhyan were also observed. [28 photos total]

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An Indian Sikh pilgrim parades on April 13 in Bobigny, near Paris, during celebrations for Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year Festival, which also commemmorates the founding of the Khalsa (Sikh community) by the tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) in 1699. (LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images) #
ndian Sikhs watch a procession on April 13 in Bobigny, near Paris, during celebrations for Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year Festival. (LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images) #
A dozen barefoot sweepers clear the streets with brooms ahead a procession of Indian Sikh pilgrim on April 13, in Bobigny, near Paris, during celebrations for Vaisakhi, the Sikh New Year Festival. #
Burmese teenagers and children celebrate the Burmese New Year water festival, called Thingyan, near the Mandalay palace on April 15, in Mandalay, Burma. Thingyan is a Buddhist festival celebrated during the four days leading up to the New Year. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images) #
Burmese teenagers and children celebrate the Burmese New Year water festival, called Thingyan, near to the Kandawgyi Lake on April 16, in Mandalay, Burma. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images) #
Buddhist monks and devotees carry flowers to offer at Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, April 17. Myanmar Buddhists concluded celebrating their annual water festival, known as Thingyan on Wednesday, and participated in Buddhist religious rituals on Thursday marking a New Year according to the traditional Lunisolar calendar. (Gemunu Amarasinghe/Associated Press) #
Ultra-Orthodox Jews watch others collecting spring water during the traditional Jewish rite of "Mayim Shelanu" near Jerusalem April 13. The water is used to prepare matza, traditional unleavened bread eaten during the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters) #
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish youth burns leavened items in final preparations for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, Israel near Tel Aviv on April 14. Jews are forbidden to eat leavened foodstuffs during the Passover holiday that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery and exodus from Egypt. (Oded Balilty/Associated Press) #
Ultra-Orthodox Jews knead dough in a matzah bakery in the Belz Hasidic dynasty in Jerusalem, Israel, April 14 , as part of the preparation for the high holiday of Passover at sunset this evening. Religious Jewish families as well store and restaurant owners removed all traces of 'chametz' (unleavened food) prior to the Passover feast, which commemorates the Israelites' exodus from ancient Egypt. (ABIR SULTAN/EPA) #
Israeli Jewish worshippers light candles as they perform a ceremony for Passover in Kathmandu on April 14. Hundreds of Jewish travelers in Kathmandu attended what organisers claim was the world's biggest Passover celebration, as food supplies delayed for weeks due to a diplomats' strike arrived just hours before the feast. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men watch as leavened products burn in Brooklyn, New York, USA, April 14. (ANDREW GOMBERT/EPA) #
Ethiopian jews women observe through a gate men performing the Cohanim prayer (priest's blessing) during the Pesach (Passover) holiday at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 17. Thousands of Jews make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the eight-day Pesach holiday, which commemorates the Israelites' exodus from slavery in Egypt some 3,500 years ago and their plight by refraining from eating leavened food products. (THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images) #
David Wein, of St. Petersburg, center, right, talks to his son Aaron Wein, 4, April 14, at Congregation B'nai Israel, in St. Petersburg, Fla., during a Fast of the First Born study session on the eve of Passover. First born are obligated to fast on Passover eve as Jews remember their Exodus from Egypt. By participating in the Siyum study session, one can join its celebratory meal, the last leaven, before Passover begins. (Scott Keeler/The Tampa Bay Times via Associated Press) #
A Filipino boy participates in Palm Sunday rites outside the Holy Family Parish Church in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on April 13. Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and ushers in the Holy Week observance among Catholics worldwide. (Aaron Favila/Associated Press) #
Masked faithfuls dressed as a devil, popularly known as "Talciguin", take part in the celebration of an ancient local tradition marking the start of Holy Week, on April 14, in Texistepeque, some 84 km west of San Salvador, El Salvador. Talciguines lash Catholic faithfuls to cleanse their sins. (JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images) #
Orthodox Christian women put their heads down on a marble stone inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City during Holy Week, April 15. The ancient church is the accepted place of Jesus Christ's crucifixion, burial and resurrection. This years Roman Catholics and all the Christian Orthodox faiths celebrate Holy Week at the same time and Jerusalem's Old City is filled with faithful and pilgrims. (JIM HOLLANDER/EPA) #
Young penitents parade during a Holy Week procession in the northern Spanish Basque village of Segura on April 17. (RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images) #
Catholics leave the San Antonio de Padua church with a statue of Jesus Nazareno, for a procession known as "Jesus Nazareno of the tapes", during Holy Week in Cot de Cartago, Costa Rica, April 16. According to Jorge Masis, a priest at the church, people tie ribbons to the statue to symbolize promises they make to Jesus during Holy Week. (Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters) #
Catholic devotees kneel before a makeshift altar of Christ as a form of penance during holy week on April 17, in Pampanga, Philippines. The bloody practice is a form of reenactment of Christ's suffering before being nailed to the cross. Although the act of self mortification is condemned by the Catholic church and frowned upon in the modern age, thousands of Filipino faithfuls still practice it to this day as a form of popular piety and has become a part of Philippine tradition in Asia's largest predominantly Roman Catholic nation. (Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images) #
People work at details of a 700 meter long colored sawdust carpet along a street, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, April 17. Almost one hundred people took part in the preparation of a sawdust-made carpet for the Holy Burial procession on Good Friday as part of the Easter festivities. (GUSTAVO AMADOR/EPA) #
A child carries a candle as a woman uses Rosary beads to pray on the hill leading to Laferla Cross outside the village of Siggiewi, southwest of Valletta, April 17. Every year on Maundy Thursday, thousands of religious devotees on the staunchly Catholic island make their way up the hill, the highest point on the Maltese islands, on a Seven Churches Visitation pilgrimage. Several Easter processions take place around Malta between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday, drawing thousands of visitors. (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters) #
Pope Francis lies on the ground during the celebration of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday at Saint Peter's basilica, at the Vatican, April 18. On Good Friday Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (STEFANO RELLANDINI/EPA) #
Pilgrims walk across a tidal causeway while carrying crosses during the final leg of the Northern Cross pilgrimage to Holy Island in Northumbria, northern England April 18. For more than thirty years Christians have taken part in the pilgrimage to Holy Island, walking through Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, during Holy Week. (Nigel Roddis/Reuters) #
Israeli security force stand guard as Christian pilgrim reenacts the Passion of Christ along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering) during a procession marking Good Friday on April 18 in Jerusalem's old city. Thousands of Christian pilgrims take part in processions along the route where, according to tradition, Jesus Christ carried the cross during his last days, as Christians around the world mark the Holy Week. (GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images) #
Worshipers pause before marching while carrying bamboo torches during the traditional 'Procissao do Fogareu' (Procession of the Torches) through the historic center of town during Semana Santa (Holy Week) festivities on April 18 in Paraty, Brazil. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #
Pilgrims attend the annual Good Friday "Stations of the Cross" procession at the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower in Paris April 18. (Benoit Tessier/Reuters) #
Penitents of the Jesus Yacente brotherhood take part in a Holy Week procession in Zamora, northern Spain April 18. Hundreds of processions take place throughout Spain during the Easter Holy Week. (Andres Kudacki/Associated Press) #
Christian worshipers hold crosses as they enter the church of the Holy Sepulchre during the Good Friday procession in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, April 18. Thousands of pilgrims, tourists and clergy took part in the celebrations, commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. (ABIR SULTAN/EPA) #

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