4 Hispanic Easter Traditions

Easter is a great time of the year to get your message out. But how does multicultural marketing work on this important holiday?

As time goes by, modern society becomes more and more detached from its religious roots.

Yet there are certain religious holidays that are still integrated deep into our culture. Two stand out above all the rest: Easter and Christmas. Whether you are a religious organization or not, Easter and Christmas are both holidays you don’t want to forget in your annual marketing efforts.

Since we’re in the middle of what’s called “holy week,” the days leading up to Easter Sunday, let’s discuss how this holiday is known and celebrated among Hispanics, in America and around the world.

Truth is, a lot of Easter advertisement gets simply misunderstood or ignored by Hispanics because marketers fail to recognize the key cultural elements endeared by this audience, especially during a religious festivity.

By understanding how the Hispanic audience perceives and practices this holiday, you can more sensitively and relevantly position your brand and message during this important season.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. La Semana Santa (Holy Week)

When marketing to a non-Hispanic American during Easter, there are some audiences where religion doesn’t need to be mentioned for the message to be relevant. However, when we talk about Easter for the Hispanic audience, there’s really no secular way to think about it.

That’s because faith, primarily Catholic, permeates Hispanic culture. Pew reports that 55% of U.S. Hispanics are adherents to Catholicism.

The roots and influence of the Catholic Church in Latin society go back centuries. In the Middle Ages, after the Mulsim Moors were fought off of the Iberian peninsula, Catholicism shaped every facet of life. Politics, business, school, home — everything was governed by the teachings of the Church. This Catholic culture was then exported around the world during the Spanish Colonial Period.

As a result, Spanish-speaking countries today have cultures that are largely defined by Catholic teachings and values.

You can see the Catholic influence in how Hispanics talk about Easter: La Semana Santa (The Holy Week). Even in the name the holiday’s religious nature is front and center.

2. Masses and Parades 

Easter for Hispanics is an entire week of events and religious gatherings leading up to the historical celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

The week begins with Dia de Ramos, or “Palm Sunday.” On this day, a special mass is held to celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem a week before His death.

Throughout the week, it’s common to see parades marching through the cities, with hundreds or thousands of devoted Catholics wearing bright, colorful costumes and carrying crucifixes, or statues of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.

Masses and prayer services are held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as devoted Catholic families experience the events of the week of Jesus’ death through the rituals of the Church.

These religious events are important events, with some of them requiring the whole family to participate.

For example, some families have a tradition of visiting seven churches — all within one day! This reminds them of how the apostles were to keep watch with Jesus throughout the night in prayer.

These faith-based themes provide a serious backdrop to the week as families explore the biblical ideas of sacrifice, giving, and forgiveness.

Jump off of these themes to create meaningful messages for your Hispanic audiences.

3. Food: the Universal Love Language

Talking about Easter for Hispanics wouldn’t be complete without talking about the food!

Even before Holy Week, during the season of Lent, Catholics everywhere begin to change their diet to reflect on themes of the season.

Lent is famous for abstaining from something you might like, such as coffee, sweets, or breads.

But during Holy Week, many Hispanic families do not eat any red meat, especially on Good Friday, the day they remember the death of Jesus.

However, on Easter Sunday, there is typically a big meal as the whole family gathers to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

4. Being Together

For Hispanics, Holy Week and Dia de Pascua (Easter Sunday) are not the same without family.

Being together is the highlight of Holy Week as families participate in religious events and gather for special family meals and observances.

In fact, in Latin American countries, it’s common for businesses, stores, and shops to close for the entire week so families can gather and spend time together.

Dressing up in their Sunday best, getting up to go to Mass, joining up later at abuelita’s house for dinner with the family — all of these are special and dear to the Hispanic heart.

Make the Connection

Easter is important to many Christian around the world, and in many cultures. Yet in the Hispanic culture, Easter holds a unique place in the year.

For many Hispanic families, Easter is as big of a priority as Christmas is, when it comes to holiday plans and family gatherings.

It is a special time for your organization to make deep, personal connections with Hispanics  by touching on these religious and family images, messages, and themes during this beautiful season.

We can help!

We’re here to help you navigate all these subtleties of multicultural marketing to Hispanics.

With Kerux Group, you can market your organization’s brand with confidence, knowing your message will reach Hispanics in the language they will understand.

If you have any questions about multicultural marketing during Easter, let me know in the comments below, or contact us for more information!

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