Happy Good Friday, for those who celebrate the Easter holidays, and a happy start to spring to all of our readers! While my weather at home in Washington, D.C. is still fairly cold and dreary, pictures from Easter and Semana Santa celebrations in Guatemala make me feel a bit more cheerful and colorful! Semana Santa (Holy Week) is one of the most cherished and widely celebrated holidays in Guatemala, where a majority of the country is Catholic or Protestant. Throughout the country, eight days of festivities are observed, beginning on Palm Sunday and continuing through Easter Sunday.
The Semana Santa celebrations in Antigua, Guatemala are particularly famous and a big attraction for visitors. According to one blog, “One of the most impressive aspects of the Easter Festival in Antigua are the ‘carpets’ [alfombras] that adorn the processional route. Residents along the streets begin preparations weeks and even months in advance creating these beautifully intricate offerings. Sand is first laid to level the cobblestone, followed by sawdust that has been collected and dyed to bright shades of red, yellow, blue, purple, green and black. Pine needles, flowers and native plants are also used for decoration and fragrance. The carpet designs reflect Maya tradition, biblical symbolism and scenes from nature. The art of carpet-making is thought of as sacrificial because of the intense detail and amount of time dedicated to their creation, only to be destroyed once the processions pass.”
Enjoy the following pictures from Semana Santa celebrations in Guatemala!