Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala
Every year, thousands of tourists descend upon the cobblestone streets of Antigua, Guatemala to witness the spectacle that is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Catholic parishes from in and around Antigua hold processions, where they carry elaborately decorated parade floats through the city streets, marking the events of the life of Jesus Christ from his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Elaborate "alfombras" made of sawdust and flowers create carpets for these processions to walk upon, and bands play music — somber or triumphant — to accompany the prayers and chants of the faithful as they commemorate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This tradition lives on in parts of Spain and elsewhere in the world, but in Antigua, the traditions of the ceremony reflect a unique blend of indigenous culture and Catholic beliefs, which sets apart Semana Santa in Antigua as a unique celebration that can be found no where else in the world.