That is right, Semana Santa in Guatemala is an equal opportunity celebration. Sure, cucuruchos take the majority of the clicks of cameras and most of the video recorded, but children, women and dogs have a place in the Holy Week celebrations. Women’s float or andas are a bit smaller and carry virgins or angels most of the time.
Processions are majestic, huge and long in La Antigua Guatemala. You can browse the Processions category to get an idea of the size of the processions in La Antigua Guatemala. There are smaller and more humble processions in the villages and small communities surrounding La Antigua Guatemala. This year, I will try to focus more in the Holy Week celebrations and processions in the villages where you can still observe the fervor, regardless of the size, for all these Catholic rituals. The photo above was taken in the village of San Pedro Las Huertas, while the procession made a pit stop or parada as they are known in Spanish. Well, I think that is the name, maybe somebody more knowledgeable in Catholic rituals can provide the actual name for the stops the processions make every so often at specific spots.
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.
Churches serve as terminals from which processions depart or arrive. Churches also serve as home-base for all the brotherhoods of cucuruchos and sisterhoods. Churches also put their best face for the Holy Week and many get a paint job and/or restoration works in the weeks prior to Semana Santa.
With this photo we wave goodbye to Semana Santa and to Holy Week’s processions. I was told the last procession, the Resurrection (Resurección) procession comes out on Easter Sunday (today) a 6 a.m. and its back in the church by 10 in the morning.