On the Christian calendar, Easter week is the most revered of them all, with both Good Friday and Easter itself celebrated within days of each other. Because of this, international deliveries may take slightly longer to reach their intended destinations.
This is especially true throughout much of Latin America, where a considerable portion of the region's populace is devoutly Christian.
"The last day to clear customs during Holy Week will be Thursday April 13," said A.J. Hernandez, CEO and president of SkyPostal, in an email. "Shipments that are cleared that day may not go out for delivery until Monday April 17."
Though not formally observed by all branches of Christian orthodoxy, Good Friday is commemorated as the day on which Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on Golgotha, a hill that sits on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Christians believe that this event set in motion mankind's salvation from original sin, with Jesus Christ having taken on the sins of the world. In countries like Spain, Brazil and Peru, ceremonies take place throughout the week reenact Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, as Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead three days after being crucified.
Mail delays in the Philippines
Latin America isn't the only segment of the world where international deliveries are often delayed as a result of the events and observances that make up Holy Week. The same is true in parts of Southeast Asia, among them the Philippines.
For instance, the Philippine Postal Corporation informed its customers at the beginning of the month that April 10-12 would be just like any other week for mail, but thereafter, delays should be expected.
"All dispatches of mails for Airmail Exchange Department (AMED), Express Mails Exchange Department (EMED) in Pasay City and Surface Mail Exchange Department (SMED) in North Harbor, Manila and postal areas nationwide shall be suspended in the evening of 12 April 2017," PHLPost announced. "For Good Friday, offices shall be closed except at operations area in EMED and AMED (Central Mail Exchange Center) in Pasay City where work activities will be limited only in the receipt of international mails."
PHLPost further stated that for Saturday and Easter Sunday, post offices will be closed, the exceptions being EMED and AMED. The Philippines is another part of the world where processions and reenactments of Jesus' death are performed.
In European countries, what's open and closed is determined on a case-by-case basis. In Greece, for instance, Good Friday is a holiday for both Greek Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics, which accounts for much of the country's population. Post offices are therefore closed, as are most museums and several tourist attractions. Similarly, in Germany and France, whether it's business as usual during Holy Week or not depends on the business, as Good Friday is considered a national holiday only by certain portions of the respective countries, as noted by The Sydney Morning Herald.