As promised, I am sharing here photos of the Holy Week celebrations. There are many impressive in-church celebrations. As a general rule, I avoid most religious services of any kind--I am the type that goes to services for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana and that's about it--but I am told these church celebrations are quite the spectacle. The photographs here, then, are of all the outdoor celebrations and I assure you they are even more impressive in person.
I do enjoy--and can hardly avoid--the street processions, mainly because I live right smack in the midst of it all. A great many of these processions pass by right in front of our building, to the joy of the hotel guests.
As for me, since the authorities close down the streets to vehicle traffic for hours, we pretty much get stuck downtown most of the time during the week. Or else we have to drive away very early in the morning and return around midnight! That is how long all these processions last, winding their way around and around all of downtown. Some start at 4 am, some end at 3 am, it's an all day affair.
Even though most businesses close nationwide, there are plenty of ATMs and of restaurants and pubs which remain open around here. Hence, friends drop by to spend the day watching the processions from our building and surrounding streets, and photographing the amazing colorful carpets made of flowers and sand (anybody can participate in their creation). There are big brass bands following the processions, playing very sonorous dirges traditional to the religious holiday.
One is always surrounded by the aroma of incense, pine needles and flowers wafting everywhere during this week. A pleasant assault on the senses. It is important to note that most of the images date from the 16th to 17th centuries.
Of course, we keep dunking into cool, shady eateries to have a bite and a cold drink. Lots of fanfare and pageantry everywhere, sweet aromas, good food, long holiday. It's pretty fun. I now leave you with the visuals to enjoy.
Hotel - Lofts - Parking
In the heart of the Historic Center of Guatemala