Easter in Antigua, Guatemala
by Cullen Walker
During Holy Week, Antigua Guatemala hosts the most beautiful religious celebration in the Americas, when huge processions wind their way through the town’s streets. Actually, the celebration begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and reaches its climax on Good Friday, when Antigua streets are thronged with processions and reverent spectators. The processions consist of big floats, or 'andas', bearing statues of Christ with a cross, that are carried by hundreds of purple-robed men.
A float with the Virgin Mary Follows by women dressed in black clothing. The processions move slowly through. Antigua cobblestone streets, the feet of the bearers cushioned in the sawdust carpets, which are destroyed as the procession passes over. Visiting Antigua during lent and Holly Week means an extraordinary spiritual rewarding experience which you will never forget.
Antigua Guatemala is famous for its spectacular and elaborate religious festivities during Easter Week (Holy Week - Semana Santa). The Carpet Tradition (Alfombras de Acerrin) draws national and international visitors who crowd streets not just to see the processions, but also to participate in the detailed elaboration of these colorful carpets to adorn the processional route.