The components of a Guatemalan Holy Week

Lent has officially started, for Guatemala this is the beginning of one of the most fascinating traditions of the year.

For many of the foreigners, the first impression of Holy Week in Guatemala can be a little overwhelming, so if you have plans to visit Guatemala at this time of the year here we share with you some tips of what to expect:

Alfombras “Carpets”

The cobbled streets of Antigua are filled with colored sawdust, flowers, vegetables, fruits and any other material that the ingenious local people decide to use; and of course these also the elaborated designs that will amaze you.

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Cucuruchos and other costumed “procession carriers”

Everywhere you see you will find people dressed in purple , old, young, children, men and women, entire families show their devotion, all of them ready to carry on their shoulders the procession’s float. Men wear the purple robe while women wear a black skirt with a white blouse and black veil, and there’s also the romanos “Romans” with skirts, sandals and helmets.

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Street food

Food, of course, is an essential component of the festivity, many houses open their doors and women’s cook traditional dishes, no one misses the opportunity to earn some extra income.

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Procession

Catholic churches are preparing throughout the year for the moment to present their “anda” float and take it out on the streets, where the cucuruchos anxiously wait for their turn.

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Funeral marches and incense

A band of musicians follows the procession during the whole route playing sad songs  accompanied by the smell and visual effect that the incense adds which gives a mystical atmosphere.

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IMG_0876IMG_0892Visitors!

visitors that come from around the world for devotion, curiosity, to photograph or any other reason are welcome to enjoy the meals, help to do the carpets, and even carry the processions!

So don’t be shy and come to be part of a unique tradition!

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