Posadas (Processions) in Antigua Guatemala


In Antigua during the Easter Season, called Semana Santa or "Holy Week", the residents make "carpets", called alfombras, out of colored sawdust, flowers, and imagination for the processionals, called posadas, to walk on.

The posada (above) bypasses a completed sawdust "carpet".
Notice the clouds of incense in the distance.
This series of carts depicts scenes from Christ's last days, starting with the betrayal in the Garden (above) and ending with the removal of the body from the cross (below, left).
(below, right)--Marchers line up carrying signs with Christ's Last Words.
(above, left)--The depiction of the glass casket holding the body of Christ is surrounded by clouds of incense. It is carried on the shoulders of hundreds of men along the route of the processional.

(above, right)--The next depiction, Mary mourning the death of her son and Savior,
is carried by the women.
(left)
Posadas travel throughout the town of Antigua day and night during the week of Easter. When one is passing, traffic--even foot traffic--comes to a halt.

Notice the volcano looming in the hazy distance.
(right)
Upcoming "parade" routes are posted fairly well. Vehicles left on a posted street are towed out of town--regardless of the noise. This Land Cruiser had a loud alarm!
(above)--Watchers with lighted candles mass in front of the main Cathedral
to wait for a posada to pass.

(below, left)--"The Symbols of the (Christ's) Passion",
carried by the men of the parrish in a night procession.

(below, right)--The procession rounds three sides of the town square
to pass in front of the main Cathedral.


(above)--The women carry the figure of Mary in the same procession.