The city of Antigua Guatemala leads the pack when it comes to Easter Week activities in Guatemala, with spectacular procesiones that are among the world’s most iconic.
These processions are voluptuous and many of them are quite dramatic, worthy to see, photograph and even film. No wonder that Antigua is the most visited town in Guatemala.
The celebration of this tradition occupies the whole city. Residents and even tourists decorate the streets and balconies, and fill the streets with spectacular and huge carpets made out of sawdust that disappear the moment the “pilgrims” walk over them.
These colorful sawdust carpets coat most of the cobblestones streets of Antigua Guatemala everyday during the Easter Week and it is one of the most amazing parts of Semana Santa (Easter Week). In 2015, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS has recognized Antigua Guatemala for producing the longest sawdust carpet in the world.
Each carpet is an expression of art itself, is a contemporary message of design. These are part of a tradition of “ephemeral art” shared by many around town, and it is quite likely that one design won't be repeated again. Sawdust is dyed different colors and interwoven with bright color flowers, exotic plants, pine needles and even fruits. This art of carpet making is so strong in Antigua Guatemala’s culture, that it takes weeks and even sometimes months of careful preparation. These carpets take long hours to do and these can only be placed on the street the very same day the procession will pass by. To keep the carpet from drying out or blown away, the carpets are constantly watered to keep them wet and compacted. If more than one procession is scheduled to go down a street on the same day a new carpet with a different design is made again for each procession.