Celebrating Semana Santa in Guatemala

By | Category: Travel destinations

Semana SantaIn any Catholic country, Easter is an important religious reminder and its only just over a month away. It also means that many festivals take place. Anybody who has visited Spain or Malta at Easter will know how colourful the festivals and carnivals can be can be.

But for a carnival with a difference, you could try the one known as Antigua Guatemala in the central American country of Guatemala

As in Spain, from 20th-26th March 2016, Central America will have many colourful processions and festivities in celebration of the ‘Semana Santa’, or Easter week, the most important religious holiday of the year. Catholicism is the predominant religion in Central America however each country is upheld by its own indigenous traditions that are kept alive throughout the holiday.

The colonial city of Antigua Guatemala in Guatemala hosts the largest ‘Semana Santa’ celebration in Central America. The festivities held in the city are a reflection of the religious fervour brought from Spain 500 years ago, with mile long processions bearing the image of Jesus and winding their way through the streets followed by men adorning traditional purple robes.

In the run up to Easter, locals and tourists come together to make ‘Alfombras’, carpets made from flowers and colourful sawdust, which are then used to decorate the streets of the city. Despite the Easter celebrations in Antigua Guatemala bearing similarities to those held in Spain, Guatemala’s festivities are infused with Mayan influences, with many of the decorations bearing Mayan symbols.

Many specialist tour operators will have tours to places like Antigua Guatemala over Easter as part of wider central American or South American tours.

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