March 26, 2011

The Lent in Guatemala, a long series of processions, carpets (alfombras), and vigils (vigilias)

With the beginning of the Lent, starts the long series of processions. In Antigua, you can assist to vigils every Friday with its respective procession on Sunday in some villages and municipalities.

The processions consist of floats, or 'andas', bearing statues of Christ with a cross, that are carried by purple-robed men commonly called Cucuruchos. A float with the Virgin Mary follows by women dressed in black clothing.
Being in a procession is taken very seriously by Guatemalan and this is a very serious matter. For the biggest processions during Semana Santa people have to book their space one year in advance and pay for it.

Along the way of the procession, people make sawdust carpets. During the Lent they are really simple but during Semana Santa carpets are really elaborated.

These are the pictures of one the first processions in Antigua:

 The Romans walking into the Colonial City

 the little Helper or "ayudante"
 Jesus carrying his cross
 then came the women all in black to represents the sadness of Mary
 and at the end... the cleaning train! To clean the street after the processions, especially when there are carpets
Street sellers

1 comment:

Lucy Brown said...

You got some good shots Claire.