From the Church to the Streets Holy Week Celebration in Antigua, Guatemala

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(Video Text) Holy Week began two millennial ago at the Council of Nicea, yet over time the celebration has changed. Antigua, Guatemala is famous for its celebration, which blends Roman Catholicism with Mayan culture. The celebration in Antigua includes parades demonstrating the passion of Christ.

Located an hour outside of Guatemala City, Antigua represents a mix of indigenous and Catholic traditions.

The Holy Week tradition, originally a Spanish tradition, was brought to Guatemala with the arrival of the Spaniards in 1524.

Thousands of tourists gather to watch the procession.
People book accommodations a year in advance to be able to attend Holy Week
"The army of men all dressed in the same purple robe in this picture participate in the procession along the streets. Cucuruchos are men dressed as penitents from the colonial era. Purple is the typical color of the tunics used in all of the processions, except Good Friday where they change from purple to black."

The parades of Holy Week commemorate the story of Jesus.

The parades of Holy Week utilize floats such as those above to reenact the passion of Christ,the crucifixion of Jesus, and the resurrection.

The procession of floats depicts the scenes of Jesus carrying his cross.
Thousands of people come to witness the Catholic tradition of Holy Week parades in the streets of Antigua.
Here Jesus carries his cross.
Traditionally women wearing black, carry the float of the virgin Mary, this procession follows the story of Jesus, to depict the mourning of Mary.

Throughout the week, traditional colored carpets line the streets

These colorful carpets date back to the colonial era. They were used by missionaries as they preached to the natives. Now they are created each year by many families out of dyed sawdust, sand and lime. The carpets are adorned with various flowers and fruits. In addition to the carpets along the streets there are others in the churches that are part of the Holy Vigils that occur before every parade.

One can see not only the construction of such carpets, but also the carpets that adorn the churches during the Holy Vigils.

(Video Text) Holy Week brings thousands of tourists to Antigua, Guatemala to watch the famous celebration of Jesus Christ. Participants in the parade wear matching uniforms to carry the floats of the passion of Christ, his crucifixion, and resurrection. Colorful, handmade carpets line the streets. Antigua, Guatemala is the place to go to see a Holy Week celebration.


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By: Katelyn Larossa, Annemarie Cappurccini, Jessica Cargill


Created with images by amslerPIX - "untitled image" • marinakvillatoro - "100_4013"

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