Some people have traveled the world over just to be present for the world-famous Holy Week in La Antigua Guatemala. Some people just have to open their front doorway and go outside to be part of Semana Santa in Guatemala.
One very important aspect or distinction of what makes the celebrations of the Holy Week or Semana Santa in Antigua Guatemala so special and unique is the colorful processional carpet elaboration process, which, quite often, involves the whole family, close friends, the neighborhood and the entire community. It does not matter if it’s just grandma throwing some corozo (corozo palms) and dried purple flowers to elaborate a humble alfombra in front of her home or it is a team of members of the cuadra (the block), or if a son lends a hand to a dad to put the final touches on the brightly-colored sawdust carpet, the devotion and the do-good spirit are present everywhere you look. This is the week of the year when Guatemalans stand as one people!
Holy Week processional carpets can be made from colorful sawdust, richly-scented pine needles and corozo palms, sweet-smelling flowers and tropical fruits and vegetables. Alfombras procesionales de Samana Santa (Holy Week processional carpets) can be delightful to see with their intricate design and patterns before every procession throughout the Lent and the Holy Week. However, it is a richer experience to be present through the elaboration process and to be part of it by lending a hand and talking to the creators who are more than happy to include you as part of the family, friends and community. To some people from other parts of the world it might be a weird and pleasant experience to realize that people here “know” their neighbors and the entire community.
If you are right now in La Antigua Guatemala, don’t miss this unique opportunity to be part of the elaboration of the world-famous Holy Week processional carpets!
© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.