Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Semana Santa or Holy Week

For some reason Blogger is messing with the order of my pictures. They are in reverse! :) I will post more pictures of the floats and the crowds either tonight or tomorrow.

Pine needle, straw, and flower carpet
Birds of Paradise flowers were used to create smaller crosses
"Designers" deciding on where to put the large bouquets

Colored sawdust created with stencils
Pressing saw dust into the stencil
Working from 2x4's suspended in the air
Beautiful work!
walking across 2x4's in order to get to the middle of the carpet
This was the carpet inside the cathedral in the Main Square in Antigua

It is Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Guatemala. Antigua is one of the most popular destinations to celebrate this week, especially if you are Catholic. Without me going into an indepth religious discussion on Catholicism versus Christianity, I am simply going to post these pictures in memory of my first Semana Santa.

Here is a little background information: The Catholic people in Antigua create these amazing masterpieces made up of flowers, palm leaves, fruit, vegetables, and colored sawdust. They work for hours and hours and literally in a matter of seconds they are destroyed. Catholic people carrying floats (which are VERY heavy and made out of solid wood) walk over these 'carpets'. The incense is extremely strong and actually takes your breath away. The Catholic people are creating these carpets and carrying these floats for several specific reasons, which I am not going to get into... The people carrying these floats have to pay money to take a 'turn'. The parade route is marked by 'retorno' signs and this is where if your turn is up, another person may jump in to carry the load.
Personally, I don't agree with why the people are doing this, but I can appreciate the hardwork involved in creating these wonderful carpets.

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