Alfombras on the streets of Antigua

October 30, 2008 by  
Filed under What is Semana Santa

Semana Santa or “Holy Week”  has a completely different feel from the states, as people reflect on Christ´s death and celebrate his resurrection — no chocolate rabbits and colored eggs. There is a reenactment of trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ and on good friday, Christ´s body (in a glass casket) is the center of many large processions.

Late into the night, families gather in the streets, enjoy seemingly tasty traditional treats from local vendors.  At midnight, streets continue packed with people, shoulder to shoulder. The crowds are not intimidating, as people are calm, respectful and somber

The most beautiful part of the festivities are the alfombras, or carpets, that are created in the streets. Groups spend hours carfully sifting sawdust through stencils to create patterns and figures. Everyone has a few hours to enjoy the finished product, then they are walked over and destroyed by the processionals.

They are amazing, although very temporary, works of art created out of colored sawdust, flowers, fruit, and pine needles. 

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