Semana Santa Guatemala celebrations are pretty much held all over the country, though none are as renowned as the celebration in Antigua. In fact, many consider this city’s Holy Week celebration to be the best in the Americas, and it is often compared to the more famous Semana Santa celebration in Seville Spain.
Holy Week in Guatemala, or Semana Santa, as it is locally known, takes place during the week leading up to Easter Sunday. A time of great religious fervor, it is also a week that allows cities and towns to showcase themselves a little bit, especially on the artistic side. In Antigua, for example, the streets are wonderfully decorated with carpets of sorts that are fashioned out of flower petals and sawdust. These colorful displays are known as "alfombras."
Catholicism is the main religion in Guatemala, and Holy Week is a time to celebrate the Catholic religion in general. In Antigua especially, religious processions parade through the streets during Holy Week. Some of the processions feature one hundred or more worshipers, and often times, these worshipers carry processional floats on their shoulders. It is quite a sight to see.
Anyone who chooses Antigua for their Semana Santa Guatemala experience is encouraged to book their hotel room as soon as possible. Thousands flock to the city during this time of year, and hotels can sell out a year or more in advance. Some Antigua hotels offer rooms that overlook common procession routes, it should be mentioned. Examples include the Posada del Dona Leonor and the Posada de Don Rodrigo. As for examples of other good places to celebrate Holy Week in Guatemala, both Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango get a lot of attention for their celebrations.
Image: Keneth Cruz (flickr)