Theme Day: Red

Setting The Red Carpet

The making of sawdust carpets, alfombras de aserrín, with its vivid colors and eye-catching patterns are among the most prominent elements of the Holy Week celebrations.

The making of carpets from sawdust, pine-needles, flowers, vegetables is a community-forming tradition. People get together by block or near-by neighbors to create the carpets on which the processions will pass by. Sometimes the making of the carpets is done at night, all night so they are ready for next day’s procession. The colorful processional carpet elaboration process 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!

Also, since Gringos are now an integral part of La Antigua Guatemala and therefore many of them participate of the preparations of the world famous alfombras de Semana Santa (Holy Week carpets) made from colorful sawdust, flowers, fruits, and anything the imagination allows.

Like many firsts of the month, AntiguaDailyPhoto is participating in the theme day of the City Daily Photo community around the world. To see how others in the City Daily Photo community have interpreted today’s theme please click here to view thumbnails for all participants around the planet.

P.S. in 30 days AntiguaDailyPhoto will be four years old. What should we do? My first thought is that’s enough… I should go on and do something else.

© 2010 – 2017, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • This is the first time I’ve heard of this custom and I find it absolutely amazing! Such artistry, and time, effort and love for these temporary carpets. Beautiful!

    And Rudy, please don’t stop your wonderful blog! I have learned so much about Guatemala — a country I know next to nothing about — because of your photos and explanations. Please.

  • I really loved reading about this tradition–this is what I love about CDP. I learn so much from the other bloggers. Thank you!

  • This is a brilliant entry. The red carpet made from sawdust. Wow.

    I chose a picture I took 55 years ago of my Patty wearing a red dress. On April Fool’s Day, April 1, 1955.

    I gave her a diamond engagement ring, and today, April 1, 2010 is my entry for theme day on my Brookville Daily Photo blog.

  • That is a great tradition. Good to see it continuing.

  • 1st of all – DON’T stop your blog, please!
    2nd of all – great RED theme day posting of that great, beauiful Easter tradition! Bravo!

  • Joyce

    Your blog is great and a pleasure to visit. It keeps me interested in a place that is really special to me, but if that was your first thought, then I would suggest you go with it if you already know where you want to grow from here. Follow your heart and you will know what is right for you. Good luck and I will visit your blog even if it comes to an end.

  • Stephanie

    Please, please don’t stop! I know that’s selfish of me, but I have to say it. This is an amazing site — for photography, for insight into Guatemala, for inspiring me to think about other ways of living and moving through this world.

    That said, I appreciate the time and energy this project takes and if it’s time for you to move on and to grow/live in other ways, I understand.

  • Kat

    That’s absolutely beautiful! This is one of the reasons I joined CDP– so I could peek in at other people’s worlds. Great post!

  • Eric

    Oh, Sr. Giron, you wouldn’t stop this blog and take away all of these beautiful sights and sounds on La Antigua, would you? You wouldn’t take away our stunning volcanic vistas, our lunch-of-the-day, our tortilla ladies, would you? How will we in the great white (this week, great WET) north ever survive? If I take the change I find on the sidewalk and mail it to you to fund your web hosting bills, will that help? 🙂

    • @Eric, I will keep this website alive for as long as I can—even when I no longer can update it. There are close to 1,500 pages of information and over 10,000 comments from you guys. This site is as much mine as it is yours. I have set up a donation button and donate towards the hosting bills precisely for that reason. 😉

  • Erick

    Wow, look how vibrant those colors are, pretty awesome stuff. This takes me back to my childhood days in the “capital” and helping make some “alfombras” for the processions. Good times.

    @Rudy: When you say go on to do something else, do you mean another blog, or are you referring to putting a stop to blogging/pictures completely? I visit this site everyday (well, maybe not so much on weekends 🙂 ) so I’d be sad to see it go, but I can definitely understand the effort and resources that it must take to keep the site going. I vote that you continue with the blog, but when things are no longer a hobby (fun) and become more of a chore, then perhaps it is time for a change of scenery. Thanks for all your hard work though!

  • Dave S

    Please, please keep the Antigua Photo Daily going!

  • Erin

    Your theme-photo, brilliant! And not just because of the vibrant red, but because you choose something so inherent to our culture. You don’t have to be a religious person to appreciate the cultural / religious richness of a place and its people. Once more, thanks for brightening my morning.
    I cannot tell you to continue bringing to life ADP; however, what I indeed can tell you, actually, what I am going to confess to you Rudy is that, you and your blog, another person and the love I feel for Guatemala, inspired me to start my own blog. So far, it has been a joyful experience.
    During the time I have been following your inspiring ADP, I have surfed through your old posts and I can see a constant evolution, getting better and better every day.
    So my friend, for what you have already shared with all of us, and for what it is to come, I raise my glass and say, cheers and go for it!

  • Alexandra Burns

    “My first thought is that’s enough… I should go on and do something else.”
    Jajaja. Is that April fool’s joke?

  • Rudy, knowing you, and not just your work, but also knowing you in person, who are you trying to fool? 🙂 Great post!!!!!!!!! Stuuuunning 🙂

  • Rudy, I’ll bring you all the microbrews that I am allowed on my next visit if you continue your blog.

    • @Shelley, I am going to hold you on this offering. 😉

  • MO

    When “that’s enough… I should go on and do something else” becomes your first, second and even your third thought of the day, then maybe it’s time to do something else. Us, as your loyal viewers/readers of your wonderful daily pictures and cultural commentary would tell you to stick it out and not quit (yes, we are selfish). But if for you the daily grind of taking and posting pictures with commentary has become just a daily boring and tedious task, then my friend you must do what your heart tells you. Just follow the white rabbit and seek his advise.

  • Manolo

    If you decide to retire we can create a gang of trolls called “los blogueros jubilados”. I might even see if I can convince la canchita to join us.

  • @Everybody, thanks so much for your kind words of support. However, you should know better and never take anything too seriously on April 1, you know. 😉

  • Stephanie

    When I opened up the blog this morning I was thinking about this post and wanted to check back in on it to see if you had further to say about the future of the blog. As I did so I thought, “Hmmm, I think Rudy said he might give it up on April 1st. Could that have been a joke?”
    🙂

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