Easter or Semana Santa in Antigua Guatemala

Guatemala

Guatemala

Easter in Latin America is always an experience. The streets have an air or festivity, religiosity and the spirit of community is supreme. You can take a look at the Easter Celebrations that happen in Antigua Guatemala, the old colonial capital of Guatemala.

You can check out the picture of Easter celebrations in Latin America, published in The Happy Trips travel portal here.  Read the quick glossary below before you head out to check the pictures.

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, literally meaning Old Guatemala, is a city in Guatemala in Central America. This was once the capital of the country but was destroyed by multiple earthquakes. The new capital was moved to what is now Guatemala City. The whole of Antigua Guatemala has Spanish architecture as Guatemala used to be a Spanish colony. The city is well known for its Easter procession that follows a re-enactment of Jesus being led for crucifixion. They begin with men dressed as Roman Centurions leading the way.

The Carpets

Alfombras (Carpets created on the streets) are made of various materials like sand, sawdust soaked & dyed in colors, bright flowers and flower petals, wood shavings, plants, pine needles, at times even fruits and vegetables, coffee beans blanketing the pebbled streets of Antigua. These alfombras along the route of the procession are the result of hard labor by residents, tourists and locals from neighboring districts of Guatemala. Water needs to be consistently sprayed on the carpets to keep them from blowing away with the wind and keeping the look fresh and hydrated.

Floats

Then comes the main attraction of the procession, the Andas (Floats) that sometimes weighs upto 3,000 kgs and requires close to a 100 people to lift it. These floats depict biblical scenes. The men who carry the floats are dressed in deep-purple robes. The pervasive display of purple through robes is in direct reference to the purple robe of kingship that Jesus is believed to have worn along with his thorny crown. The purple robes are also meant to be a reminder of Jesus’ crucifixion day, when the Roman soldiers apparently wore the same colours. These devotees take turns to carry floats.

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