Guatemala goes all out for Lent and in particular the week leading up to Easter. They call it Semana Santa or Holy Week. We got to observe all the activities and traditions this year. We also did some of our own and invited some friends. I thought maybe you might like to see some of our Holy week activities. Panajachel comes alive during Semana Santa with tons of people coming from all over Guatemala and the world. The streets are filled with people.
There are also tons of people selling to all the tourists. There are lots of colors, smells and fun things to look at.
All kinds of delicious nuts for sale
Don’t you just love all the colors?!
There’s always people making and selling tortillas:)One of my favorite things to look at is the handmade guipils which the indigenous ladies wear here.Speaking of colors, we have imported one of our traditions here to Guatemala. They don’t color and hide eggs here on Easter. Can you believe it? So we had a egg coloring party. Amber used natural dyes to dye the eggs like grapes, onions, turmeric. She’s so crafty and creative.
We invited little Denis and Melanie over too. They were so cute. I believe this was their first time to color eggs. I think they thought we were kinda weird but they had fun.
On Good Friday we went out to observe one of the coolest traditions they have in Guatemala. They create carpets out of sawdust, fruit, pine needles, and even one we saw was made out of sugar in the streets. These serve as a tribute to Christ as the processional walks over these beautiful works of art. I don’t understand all the meaning behind everything and I think there is a great deal of religiosity involved in it all but there is also something very beautiful about it.
The kids enjoyed seeing the carpets and it served and the whole day served as a great conversation starter with our kids about what it all meant. To be honest even though it might be more religious than I like it helped us focus more on Christ than the Easter bunny did in the United States. Nothing against the bunny, just something I noticed.A great deal of work goes into making the carpets. Some people might say the processions destroy the beautiful work of art of the carpets. The Guatemalans say it is a labor of love to honor their king.We sat in front of this fruit decorated carpet. Abra wanted to see the people smash the tomatoes under their feet:). Here we are waiting for the processional to come.
This one of the Pope was made out of cane sugar. Here comes the procession. They burn incense and it gets pretty smokey as the pass by.
It takes a lot of guys to carry the float. They sway back and forth to transfer the weight from one foot to the other. After the processional several children ran to pick up the vegetables for their family to eat. Made me smile because usually in the states children are running to get candy on the streets during a parade.
Abra had fun playing in the sawdust after it had been walked through.On Sunday we had a Porch worship gathering get together at Lloyd and Melanie Monroe’s house. We had a delicious meal, great friendships, and an Easter egg hunt. It was a good day for us despite the fact that My grandma Koons had died earlier that morning. Even some of the boys who Amber teaches during kids church showed up. Luis and Salvador who some of you might be familiar with. They always sell cards to people on the streets.
We ate good. A huge thanks to Melanie Monroe who prepared a lot of food with a broken hand for all of us. Then it was time for the Easter egg hunt!
Happy Resurrection day to all! Nothing better than the promise that this life is not all there is. We rejoice even in the face of death knowing that there is hope!