Which countries in the Americas do not celebrate Holy Week?

The flogging of Christ The flogging of Christ. | Credit: Public Domain - Wikimedia Commons

Holy Week is the most important time in the entire liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church. Many countries even declare holidays for the faithful to participate in the activities, but not all nations in the Americas officially celebrate it.

The following countries don’t officially celebrate Holy Week:


The nation where the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is enshrined and venerated does not officially celebrate Holy Week. The 1917 Mexican Constitution defines the country as secular, not adopting any particular religion, and upholds the “historical principle of the separation of the State and the churches.” The faithful can attend Holy Week Masses, but there are no religious holidays.

United States

According to the official holiday calendar of the federal government, the country does not recognize any day of Holy Week as a holiday, but some states do. Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee observe Good Friday as a state holiday. In Texas it’s an optional holiday. 


This South American country, situated between Brazil and Argentina on the Atlantic, does not commemorate Holy Week either. Its 1917 secular constitution states in Article 5 that “the State does not support any religion.” However, Holy Week is called Tourism Week, with Holy Thursday and Good Friday being official days off.


The communist-governed island doesn’t recognize Easter. However, in accordance with Article 100 of Law 116 of the Labor Code, the government has declared “Good Friday of each year as a day of work recess.”

Muslim-majority countries do not observe the holy day nor do Asian countries that practice other religions.

While the Catholic Church is present in almost all the countries of the world and although not all nations celebrate Holy Week, the faithful still do.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.