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.
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.
Nevertheless, Good Friday is the culmination of the Holy Week Celebrations and the processions end at the Calvario Church (Calvario is the Spanish word for Calvary or Golgotha). The entrance of the Calvario Church in La Antigua Guatemala is a yellow façade with three arches, topped by three bells and three crosses —one larger than the other two— with a very large concrete cross in front. Can you see the obvious architectonic reference to Jesus’ crucifixion?
Cucuruchos with their purple or violet cone-head dress are another prominent element of Semana Santa in Antigua Guatemala. Last week, Santiago Durham asked what its the significance of the color purple or violet in the dress and banners during Semana Santa, well it took a lot of digging to find out (I turned around and asked my office coworker), but I can now tell you the purple is worn as a sign of penitence. As a matter of fact, processions are a sign of penitence as well, heck the whole Semana Santa is a penitent act.
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.