Floral Passion: Holy Week in Antigua

Holy Week is celebrated in every town and village throughout Guatemala, but it's a particularly splendid in Antigua.

Floral Passion: Holy Week in Antigua

Street of Alfrombas in an Antiguan street

Festival Essentials

When: Annually, every Easter (usually April)
Where: Throughout all Christian and Catholic nations, at its most beautiful in Antigua, Guatemala.
What happens: See a giant passion play and walk on beautiful flower carpets
Remember to Bring: Shepherd’s crook and flowers in your hair

Where’s the Party?iamge: guatemala map

Holy Week is celebrated in every town and village throughout Guatemala, but it’s a particularly splendid in Antigua. Antigua is a beautiful colonial city along the ancient Mayan route.

The festival begins on Palm Sunday, this year 16th April.

What Happens During the Holy Week?

For three days at Easter the entire city performs one huge passion play. The people dress up as biblical characters and join the dramatic daily procession through the streets. The streets themselves are decked out with alfombras, intricate patterned carpets of coloured sawdust and flowers which can take several people as long as twelve hour to make, and which the entire procession tramples through and utterly destroys.

What’s the History of Holy Week?

Holy Week is celebrated at Easter, when Christians everywhere commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When the Spanish came to South & Central America they imposed the Catholic religion on the indigenous population.

The tradition of the flower carpets originated in the 16th century when carpets of pine needles and flowers were used for processions.

More Information

Homepage Guatemala
The official site of the Guatemalan tourist board.

main image: Volcán de Agua (“Volcano of Water”), Guatemala, seen from Antigua Guatemala, with temporary street carpeting for Easter celebrations in foreground. Photo by Infrogmation, 1980. Photo by Infrogmation (talk) VolcanAguaPascuas.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4838867

 

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