The world-famous Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations of Antigua Guatemala have begun once again, and this year my friends and I have decided to try our hand at building an Alfombra (carpet) for tonight’s procession.
Alfombras are spectacular carpets – made of flowers and colored sawdust – that local Antigua residents construct on the cobble-stoned streets that run in front of their homes. The Alfombras are prepared for the Semana Santa processions.
Tonight’s procession – which will pass right in front of my house – is the “Procesion de Santa Ines,” and like all of Antigua’s processions it will feature an “Anda” – which is a large, decorative platform upon which there is the figure of Jesus Christ carrying the cross.
These Semana Santa Andas are carried upon the shoulders of as many as 100 men! Tonight, however, is a smaller procession so probably no more than 40 men (called Cucuruchos) will be carrying the Anda.
In Antigua, building an Alfombra in front of your house is truly a neighborhood event. Everyone is comes out and does their part to help make the most dazzling carpets possible. Check out the photos of our Alfombra!
Perhaps the only thing more spectacular than the Alfombras, are the procession that destroy them! It is quite a sight to see 40+ men carrying the crucified Christ figure right in front of your house crushing the beautiful carpets that you and your neighbors have spent many hours making. It is an amazing and awe-inspiring thing to behold, and it is hard to believe it all happens right in front of my home! I love this country! Check out the video!
IN THE WORLD there is truly no better place to be than Antigua, Guatemala for Semana Santa. Antigua’s Semana Santa is the most spectacular celebration of Holy Week on the planet. Tourists from around the world converge on Antigua (quadrupling its population for a week) to see this amazing, one-of-a-kind celebration of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
For those of you who might want to see Antigua Guatemala’s Semana Santa Celebrations next year, just visit http://www.GuatemalaTravelPackages.com for more information.