On Maundy Thursday (April 18), thousands of Catholics will go to church seven times for the “Visit to the Seven Churches,” a tradition dating back to medieval Spain that commemorates Christ’s departure from the Last Supper and his walk through the Garden of Gethsemane.
It is very popular in downtown Guadalajara, where pilgrims tend to visit seven of the oldest churches in the city center: the metropolitan Cathedral, San Agustin, Santa Teresa, Nuestra Señora de la Merced, Santa Maria de Gracia, San Francisco and Santa Aranzazu. After taking communion at their starting church, worshippers amble through the streets to their next chosen destination. Because fasting is customary on Good Friday (the following day), vendors of traditional Easter empanadas do a brisk trade.
The empanadas are so famous that it is claimed many people take part in the seven-church visit just to sample them.