Lent and Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala smell like incense and corozo, a large native seed pod with a very distinctive odor. It sounds like drums, trumpets, and bird whistles. Devotional activities last from early morning until way after sunset. Here are a few of the things I saw in 2002, when I spent Holy Week and Easter in Antigua.
All during Lent and Holy Week, there are processions in Antigua. A few are unique:
This procession is unique because it is one of the only ones in the world where the anda is carried by only women. It is interesting to note that (although I didn’t attend Mass as often as I should have) this event was the only time I ever saw city women wearing head coverings, although in my village it was quite common to wear a scarf or cloth on the head whether or not one was at Mass.
In addition to the processions, I saw alfombras, “carpets” made from colored sawdust, grasses and flowers.
When the artists make these alfombras, they use planks to keep from spoiling the design.
When the procession comes through a street where there is an alfombra, the hours of work are completely destroyed as the people walk over the beautiful carpet. But nothing is too much for Our Lord, and everything is temporary in this world.