Good Friday, two religions in one day. Ancient Mayan traditions in a steamy sub-tropical rain forest at Tikal and an evening Catholic procession in the town of Flores.
During our month in Antigua Guatemala we saw the Sunday processions and flower carpets of the build up to Easter, the big day itself, Easter Sunday, will fall for us here on the tiny island of Flores.
The Good Friday procession last night was absolutely stunning, the darkness, incense, candles and solemnity made it, we think, even more impressive than the bigger events in Antigua.
Traffic and parked cars exited the narrow streets of Flores in the afternoon, residents decorated their doors and windows and the artistry of flower carpet-making began. It was the first time we really saw Flores as it should be seen, without traffic, there isn’t a huge amount but the parked cars really change the feel of the streets, they’re more beautiful without.
Carpets wind their way through the town, some decorated with candles, loaves, fabrics, fruits and flowers. They exist for just minutes before the procession comes to trample them.
The procession moves incredibly slowly, in Flores a single Jesus figure carried on the shoulders of a dozen or so men. A band follows behind playing funereal music. When the procession reaches a carpet the music stops, replaced by a drum beat during the crossing.
I hear that tonight, Saturday, there will be partying as Lent is now over and celebrations can begin, another procession will mark Easter Sunday. We’ll be here to watch.
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Tuesday 6th of February 2018
I have a question. We are planning a trip to guatemala in March 2018. I see you have had an update as of 2017. Can you tell me if we took the overnight bus from Flores to Guatemala City, would we be able to take a bus from that drop off point to Lake Atitlan? Also, if we were to be able to book someplace so that we are in Antigua for March 28 to 31, we would hopefully get to see some of the easter events. Can you suggest the name of your airbnb or an area of the city that would be good to stay in for that time period.
Sunday 20th of April 2014
That looks gorgeous!! I have seen lots of photos of the Antigua one, but I didn't realise they do it in other places too. I am not surprised though since I spent time in Guatemala in the lead up to Christmas one year and it seemed like any excuse for a religious procession/ceremony/party and Good Friday is a pretty good excuse!
Sunday 20th of April 2014
Flores looks very beautiful in your photos Alyson! It must have been really great to experience the procession and to see the lovingly made flower carpet. Thanks for sharing your impressions and also thanks for reminding me to visit Guatemala… :)