Guatemalan Fair: The Pine-needle Processional Carpets

Guatemalan Alley Pine-needle and Flower Processional Carpet

Even the alleys get dressed up with pine-needle and flower carpets for the town’s fair processions. Pine-needle element adds the value of pine scent to the whole festive occasion. Pine-needle carpets are also used for parties and special celebrations.

I could go as far as saying that the scent of pine-needle, along with the scents of tamales, ponche (fresh fruit punch), hot chocolate (not cocoa), firecrackers, new clothes and shoes (estrenos), are what makes the scent-memory of the Navidad season (Christmas). These scents, colors and its flavors are what pain Guatemalans abroad in their nostalgic moments (otherwise known as every day!).

The making of these processional carpets is such a community-forming and bonding activity since in the process participate many, if not all, of the neighbors and family members. These traditions, festive calendar dates and special celebrations mark very strongly what makes a normal human being into a hard-core Guatemalan. You break the link or access to these experiences and you only have a person that was born in Guatemala; a fact as worthless as the fact of having had a pair of boots once.

Well, with this image we wave farewell to the Guatemalan Fair series. It’s been the longest running series I have done about Guatemala yet; with sixteen photographs, descriptive captions and video clips, and I feel I barely touched the surface of the Guatemalan town fair.

Could you guys tell me if you enjoyed the series and point out where the coverage was weak or non-existent (special call to Guatemalans and long-time residents).

Update: La Antigua Guatemala is not the only place where these carpets are made. Check out Tenerife Daily Photo for a sample of their carpet-making abilities.

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