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Semana Santa in Guatemala

Semana Santa (the holy week of Easter celebrated all over the world) is very important to many people living in Guatemala. I spent time in Antigua, Guatemala where there were over 50 ceremonial processions in one week. The processions wound their way through almost every street in the city. It is amazing how they organize such an elaborate network of processions that twist and turn through the city, sometimes intersecting with one another. And the sea of purple robes is an amazing sight, as both children and adults participate in the celebrations.

I wish I could somehow share the smells of Semana Santa with you. The copal incense that creates great white clouds in the streets and lingers on well into the night. The city-wide celebration feels like a massive carnival or festival, with food vendors, games, and special events taking place everywhere you look. One day I will write more about this festive celebration, but here’s a quick video to give you a glimpse of Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala.

Some of the most remarkable aspects of Holy Week are the gorgeous alfombras (carpets made of flowers) adorning the cobbled streets between processions. Families and friends begin preparations weeks and months ahead of the festival to create these elaborate offerings.