This old man and the band are the tail of the procession. There goes Semana Santa 2008… we are at end of the Holy Week in La Antigua Guatemala. Just one more day!
To answer Sara’s question about where the money collected through the sale of the turns at carrying the float go? Almost one third goes to the band. I heard that the San Felipe Church processional Band charges Q150,000 (close to US$20,000) per procession and La Merced Church processional band about Q125,000. I imagine some of the money goes to the church who lends the saint figures for the processions. Some money goes to the organization, the creation of the scenes above the floats which are never the same and lastly for maintenance.
If you would like to see a video clip of a processional band playing, check out last year entry Weekend Procession in the Lent Season. Processional musician play sorrowful tunes is another entry where you can also see a processional band.
Literary Introspection Side Note: Much of what I am today and the decisions I made that took me to La Antigua Guatemala were inspired or influenced in part by Milan Kundera’s writings. Through the reading of several of Milan Kundera‘s novels, especially Life is Elsewhere, Laughable Loves, The Farewell Party, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Immortality and Identity, I begun to question myself about life, lifestyles and what I wanted out of the day. Life is a jigsaw puzzle made up from moments (days) and where and with whom you spend those moments shapes the picture you see at the end. Honestly, I do not know if it is better to live in the ‘first world’ with a first-world salary, first-world commodities and such or to live here in the south or third world with all the complications and dangers that decision entails. I don’t know about the first/third world euphemisms either. However, I do know that a different life or lifestyle is possible outside the safety net. There are other ways to be human and to experience unusual traditions and celebrations. There is a huge difference between Spring Break, Easter, Holy Week and Semana Santa as we live it in La Antigua Guatemala for sure. To each its own. For the moment, I’m just happy to be able to take ordinary snapshots from my daily comings-and-goings and to be able to share them with YOU! I hope you enjoy them too!?
The side note is dedicated to my dear epistolary friend Carmen.
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