Holy Week Elements: The Sorrowful Mother

Semana Santa Elements: La Dolorosa

Thanks to Byron Ortiz for lending his photos of Semana Santa (Holy Week), so we can get window-view of the Holy Week Celebrations in La Antigua Guatemala.

La Dolorosa or The Sorrowful Mother is the biblical figure of sorrowful mother Mary which follows Jesus in his way to his crucifixion. This act is represented by a smaller anda (long carved wooden flatbed image-carrying float [*]) —carrying the effigy of sorrowful Mother Mary and other female biblical representations— which is hauled exclusively by women who mostly dress in black or white as this is the appropriate dress code for a funeral. Jesus’ funeral.

All this christian and catholic background information is meant to serve as means for the understanding of the religious and cultural manifestations that take place in Antigua Guatemala during Easter. So don’t worry, we will come back to a religion-free site by next Monday; stay tune!

On the other hand, please let me know what is your opinion or feelings regarding the coverage of this yearly event? Am I doing a good balance between the photographs and background information or am I over doing it? I really would appreciate your feedback.

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  • Jerry

    I have enjoyed this week’s topic and really appreciate all of the photos of Holy Week. The background information is really good. As for a religion-free site, Why? Religion is such an important part part of the Guatemalan culture, it would be difficult to be a religion-free site and still capture the essence of everyday Guatemalan life. Blessings to all this Easter season.

  • I do not think one can truly get the feel of Antigua and its culture without being there but I think you have done a wonderful job of conveying that through pictures and text. I have not had the fortune of visiting Antigua but I have followed your blog for quite some time now and many of those times I feel I have been there. 🙂

  • Herbasio

    Y Recorda que habemos muchos guatemaltecos fuera del pais que dia a dia visitamos tu sitio y sabemos que Antigua para Semana Santa es todo esto que vos estas plasmando aqui. Excelente trabajo !

  • snapoutovit

    This site is very well done. I send people the link to show them what Semana Santa is all about in Antigua. Byron’s photos are excellent.
    I’m going back down there tonight for more carpet making, but won’t ride my bicycle this time, my arse was so sore from riding back up the hill to San Lucas yesterday!!
    Felicitaciones para su sitio bueno.

  • Richard

    Thanks so much for the photos of Semana Santa. They bring back memories as I was in Antigua in 2003, and was asked to participate in several processions. I took it seriously and considered it a great honor and will never forget the experience. Also, I can say for a fact, that the floats are heavy and it takes all 80 men lifting their share.

  • Suzanne

    I have greatly enjoyed your coverage of Semana Santa. Having been to Antigua many times, but visiting with friends and family for the first time during Semana Santa this year, I agree with Jerry in his opinion about trying to have religion-free site. Religion is woven so deep into the fiber of this town, that it would be impossible to relate life here without discussing religion, regardless of personal beliefs. After walking the streets all night Thursday visiting with friends and watching the creation of the glorious alfombras, hearing the excitement of those that will be carrying the great andas (or floats), and experiencing the passing of the processionals, I believe that there is a religious energy here during this week like no other in the world. Please continue with your fantastic coverage of this little part of the world that has a huge spirit!

  • Javier

    I think the you are not overdoing it, I think this is the most important celebration in antigua, so anything less would have been difficult to explain the importance of such celebrations. Thank you, and I don’t blame you for avoiding the crowds.

  • Thank you all for your wonderful feedback. You are my compass/gps.

  • Love the pictures and commentary. Such a important part of Antigua — wouldn’t be an accurate blog without your comments on Semana Santa! Thanks for the window into this wonderful tradition.

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