Monday, April 2, 2007
For Antigua, Guatemala Holy Week is the biggest time of the year. Knowing how big and crazy Christmas was, I was doubtful that this season could be bigger but little did I know. Everyone takes the week off, except for the vendors of course. ( Everyone including all adoption offices and PGN. ) All during the season of Lent there are processions each weekend w/ huge floats being carried by people and crazy amounts of incense. Each float is enormous and requires 80-100 men to carry it together. There's fireworks pretty much every day (big surprise). They also spend hours creating these things called "carpets" out of flowers and sawdust. Most of them are created out on the street but some are tucked inside churches. They are elaborate designs that look like oriental rugs but are made for a temporary purpose and then gone w/in hours of being created. The processions/parades can last all day where they just walk solemnly around town w/ a band and the group carrying the float gets to walk over the carpets, which of course, destroys them. Then a street crew comes by and sweeps all the saw dust into a truck. Last weekend we saw a carpet that was getting started around 1 in the afternoon and we stopped by close to dinner time and it was about half done. They said that the procession was coming by around 11:30p.m. and they should be done w/ the carpet around 11:00. The carpets are their version of "the red carpet" and are made w/ so much hard work and to perfection so that they are pure for the procession. Antigua is famous for these processions and the carpets especially. Because of that, Antigua has gotten extremely crowded over the past month! You know I've been here too long when I start getting crabby that so many tourists are here! Yikes!!