Flower Carpets Antigua Guatemala

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Flower carpets in Antigua Guatemala are an Easter tradition that we knew about before we arrived. We didn’t know that we’d be seeing them every Sunday during Lent, in the run up to Easter and throughout Holy Week. If you can possibly be in Guatemala at the right time, seeing these flower carpets and Easter processions should be on your travel bucket list.

The process of making the sawdust carpets or flower carpets was fascinating to watch. We had a front row seat as locals painstakingly created these works of art then later watched as the traditional Holy Week processions passed by obliterating them.

Flower carpets in Antigua Guatemala
The sawdust carpet, studded with flowers, before the parade after a morning of work. After the Holy Week parade passes, they are gone.

Below is the first carpet we saw, in one of Antigua’s cathedrals.

I’d heard of flower carpets but I couldn’t work out what this one was made of. Google told me that it’s coloured sawdust. Further Googling told me that the flower carpets or sawdust carpets in Antigua are a custom brought over from Spain and that the art form is still alive in Europe.

That’s something we need to look into. Have you come across these in Spain?

Sawdust carpet in Antigua Guatemala
Sawdust carpet in one of the cathedrals in Antigua Guatemala

How Are The Flower and Sawdust Carpets in Antigua Made?

Most of the sawdust carpets are laid on the cobbled streets of the old town so a thick layer needs to be laid to level out the canvas.

The geometric patterns are created using planks as borders and the intricate patterns are applied over the top by resting ladders across the construction and using stencils.

Making sawdust carpets in Antigua Guatemala
Making sawdust carpets in Antigua Guatemala
Stencil used in making sawdust carpets in Antigua Guatemala
Stencil used in making sawdust carpets in Antigua Guatemala
creating Sawdust Carpets in Antigua Guatemala.Holy Week
Creating Sawdust Carpets in Guatemala’s Holy Week

Some of the carpets are just sawdust, some are sawdust with a few flowers, sticks or seed pods, some are entirely made of grasses, whole flowers and petals like these below.

Flower and Sawdust carpet, Easter traditions, Guatemala
Flower and Sawdust carpet, Easter traditions, Guatemala
Flower and Sawdust carpet Antigua Guatemala
Flower and Sawdust carpet Antigua Guatemala

The Antiguan heat and wind would quickly dry them out and the art would blow away unless team members continuously damp them down. Some use high-tech water sprayers, some splash by hand.

Could you save this to your bucket list on Pinterest?

Antigua Guatemala flower carpets

The teams were working on these creations all morning. Once the procession came they were gone in an instant,  to be recreated in time for the procession to return, well after dark, many hours later.

It’s a labour of love and an incredible art display that will stay with us forever.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

5 thoughts on “Flower Carpets Antigua Guatemala”

  1. Oh, how wonderful. I am so jealous. I just wrote a post about these but only saw them in pictures and would love to see them in person. I just added a link back to here on that post. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow! That’s dedication, it looks kind of complicated but they are certainly beautiful works of art. Wish they had that here in Costa Rica, I would love to see some!

  3. Absolutely Awesome

    I’ll be googling more about these – are we will be making some on small scale

    Some people really go the extra mile without even complaining, others would think this was a tedious, frustrating job, others a great meditation and art enjoyment. I totally LOVE IT!

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for not giving up on your blogging.

    Love us

    • It’s wonderful isn’t it KYm, an unexpected art lesson while we were learning about religion, and all just outside our villa, it was a complete surprise. Can’t stop now, the money is flowing again.


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