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Semana Santa
Carpets
Processions click to see the other page.

Easter (Semana Santa, the Holy Week) in Antigua, Guatemala.  The CARPETS are most amazing, some costing hundreds, even thousands of dollars.  They are made of coloured sawdust, flowers, even fruits and vegetables, many other materials, small statues eating the "Last Supper", or miniatures of the processions, etc.  Many carpets take teams of people all night to make, under floodlights.

I took so many photos, that this page now breaks all the rules on how many images to use and page size for websites ... but I hope that you enjoy seeing them.  The carpets that people make are amazing!  Behind each small photo, there is a larger photo ... click and see it ... some images are quite large.

Here's a block-long carpet being completed just half an hour before a procession comes ... click to see a large image Yet another carpet on Calle Ancha, with a Mayan head in the foreground ... click to see a large image

This carpet on the Calle Ancha, "Broad Street", features Mayan themes, with a Maya head in the foreground, birds and other designs further out.  The carpet south of Santa Clara, on the left was a whole block long. 
Another Calle Ancha carpet with a Mayan theme .. an Mayan in the foreground holds pineapples and fruits on her head and beyond her a guacamayas, big macaws ... click to see a large image
Another Calle Ancha carpet with a Mayan theme, the woman in the foreground is holding pineapples and fruits, and beyond her are guacamayas, or large macaws.  On the right, a little boy has just lit up another dose of incense and is waving it over a carpet, waiting for the coming procession.
A liitle boy waves burning incense over a simple carpet, as the procession is coming ... click to see a large image
This carpet was close to the Santa Clara convent and had little angels on it, each with little messages ... click to see a large image This carpet was made of fresh flowers and had pictures of Jesus and the Last Supper ... click to see a large image
The carpet above was made of fresh flowers and had a picture of Jesus and the Last Supper.  In the carpet on the left, each angel was holding a different message. 

Tomas adiring a carpet put out by AmeriSpan in front of their offices - click to see a larger image
Here is a narrow street full of beautiful carpets ... and a procession is coming ... click to see a larger image
A "carpet" in front of Santa Clara, is being made of lots of ripe mangoes ... click to see a large image Carpet in front of the Cathedral in the main square ... a combination of sawdust and flower petals and fresh flowers ... click to see a large image
A beautiful carpet in front of the Cathedral, in the main square of Antigua, made of a combination of sawdust, flower petals and fresh flowers.  On the left, by the Santa Clara convent, a team is building a "carpet" made of crates full of ripe mangoes ... let's hope the procession does not slip crossing them ...
A simple carpet, made of beautiful African daisies ... click to see a large image
African daisies and other flower petals make this lovely carpet.  On the right, a family shares carpet-making about 6:30 a.m. wife and daughter hand the husband flowers to complete the job.  Families, friends, neighbours, all share Easter carpet-making. 
A family shares carpet-making in front of their house ... click to see a large image
Calle Ancha, "Broad Street", leads from Antigua to the suburb town of Jocotenango, and usually has some of the biggest and the most elaborate carpets ... click to see a large image Calle del Arco ... Street of the Arch ... while the morning carpets are being destroyed in other parts of the twon, people here are only just beginning theirs, to be trampled by the procession that comes at night ... click for a large image
Above, the Street of the Arch.  Here, people took it easy.  While the early morning carpets were being destroyed in other parts of town, here they only just started to make carpets for the evening procession.  On the left, one of the bigger carpets in Calle Ancha, "Broad Street", where many people worked all night on their carpets and were finishing them only just ahead of the procession.
A carpet on Calle Ancha, "Broad Street" is being completed, top right, someone is making the blue border, while his colleagues are racing to place sawdust flowers on top of the border he has just put down ... click to see a large image
Calle Ancha, "Broad Street" ... a carpet in final stages of construction.  The blue border is being laid down and flowers installed on top.  On the right, the next carpet up is ready.  You see that the hills behind are very brown ... it has not rained since November.  They will turn green in May again.
Another of the Calle Ancha carpets, this one curves along the road ... click to see a large image
Roman soldiers wondering around the streets of Antigua, started at 2 a.m.!  This was taken around 6.  Click for a larger image.

Viernes Santo, Easter Friday, 6 a.m. ... Roman soldiers in the streets of Antigua.  Behind them, Volcano Agua.
People making carpets in front of our house for Pam Sunday.  Click for a larger image.

Palm Sunday.  The block south of us has a long carpet, to which I contribute.  The cost of flowers has skyrocketed this week.  The house is to the right, was yellow at the time, now is white, beyond the tuk-tuk. 
Palm Sunday carpets just north of our house.  We contributed to the cost ... click to see a large image

The block north of the house, above, had many carpets made of pine and fresh flowers.  The carpet on the right, in front of the Doņa Louisa bakery, had a miniature procession going down the street.
This miniature Easter procession was heading down a carpet ... click to see a large image
The carpet in front of the San Sebastian park is made, each year, of different vegetables ... click to see a large image  This block-long carpet is directly in front of our house ... click to see a large image

The carpet above, made of sawdust and flowers, was in front of our house on Palm Sunday morning.  The carpet on the left, in front of the San Sebastian park, early on "Viernes Santo", is made of different vegetables. 
Carrots, hot & sweet peppers, jalapenos, peas, green beans, lettuces, cauliflowers ... click to see a large image 

Another view of the vegetable carpet, with carrots, peas, beans, turnips, hot peppers ... it must be difficult for the Easter float to walk over it.  After it's gone, people dive in to take some of the vegetables home.  On the right, yet another small procession is winding its way along the edge of the fountain in Hotel Antigua.
A mini procession rounds the corner around the fountain in Hotel Antigua ... click to see a large image 
This carpet was in the lobby of Hotel Antigua, all made out of fine coloured sawdust ... click to see a large image

Two images of a carpet in the lobby of Hotel Antigua, which shows the arch of 5th Avenue in Antigua and featured some shiny sawdust.
A liitle boy finishing a carpet that shows a procession, with Jesus, leaving the front of the La Merced church, only a couple of blocks from the actual church

A little boy is finishing a carpet.  It shows an "anda", a float with Jesus, leaving the church of La Merced ... and we are only a block from the actual church.  This was at 6 a.m.  At 8, on the right, the finished carpet is awaiting a procession to come down the street. 
The same carpet as on the left, but now finished ... click to see a larger image
A carpet with flowers and birds, near the Parque Central, Central Park, Antigua's Main Square ... click to see a large image A beautiful carpet, this one not of sawdust, but of fresh flowers ... a butterfly ... click to see a large image

This carpet of a butterfly is made of fresh flower petals.  The carpet on the left has flowers and birds, made of coloured sawdust.  You can see the spray can at the far end ... so that the sawdust does not fly away and destroy the carpet before the procession does, it has to be gently sprayed all the time with water.
Here's a nice carpet and just at the far end of the photo ... the procession is coming ... click to see a large image

Here are two photos ... in this one, the carpet as the procession is just coming, at the top of the photo, and on the right, as it has gone over it and is disappearing in the distance.  All that work and now destroyed! 
... and here's the same carpet as on the left, but the procession has passed it and you can see it walking off in the distance ... click to see a large image
Another carpet destroyed ... click to see a large image ... and this is where all the sawdust and flowers end up, with the clean-up crew ... click to see a large image

... on the left, a destroyed carpet that now looks like an impressionist painting.  People took all night making it, the procession destroyed it.  Above, the town workmen who follow, sweep it up, and put the sawdust in municipal trucks, so a few minutes after a procession has passed, the street is clean.  On the page of processions (click), there is an animated sequence that shows the cleanup process.
Click to see a larger photo

This carpet early in the morning on Palm Sunday on our street was two blocks long.  The carpet on the right was made of "birds of paradise" flowers.
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Click to see a larger photo
A team busy making another carpet

 

Click to see a larger photo
 Some of the finest carpets are on Calle Ancha, the "Wide Street", leading to Antigua's suburb of Jocotenango.
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 A beautiful carpet on Calle Ancha,
leading to Jocotenango
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 In some streets, after the morning carpets is destroyed by the procession, new ones are made for the afternoon or evening
5th Avenue ... carpets under the Arch, early morning - click to see a larger photo Click to see a larger photo

This is how carpets are made.  People get up the previous midnight, and work right up to the moment the procession comes up to destroy their work of art.

Carpet on 5th Avenue - click to see a larger photo

This carpet had to be ready for 2 p.m., so they had some daylight hours to make it.  Others had to be ready for the procession very early ... on the right, Barbara is admiring another carpet in the bright early morning sunshine. 
Barbara is examing a carpet on 5th Street early in the morning - click to see a larger image
A special carpet, around the corner, to welcome the procession that will destroy it ... Volcano Agua in the dsiatnce - click to see a larger image This carpet was in front of the Cathedral ... click to see a large image

This carpet was in the main square (Parque Central), in front of the cathedral.  The carpet on the left went around the corner, to welcome the procession.  Behind it, you can see Volcano Agua. 
Antigua traffic jam at 7 a.m. as people try to get in to see the carpets and the processions.  Most streets, of course, are closed to make carpets ... click to see a larger image
Antigua is jammed with traffic coming in to see the carpets and processions.  This is a real, solid, stationary traffic jam at 7 a.m.  Most streets are closed for the construction of carpets, so cars have a tough time entering the town.
Volcano Agua behind this carpet, the Spanish embassy on the right, the carpet was ready very early in the morning ... clikc to see a larger image
This carpet included a mini Last Supper with all the right people in it - click to see a larger image Our house is to the left of the procession - click to see a larger image

Yet another carpet in font of the house, this one is being destroyed at 6:30 a.m. on "Viernes Santo" by a procession that started very early.  The carpet on the left included elaborate, miniature Last Supper. 
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This elaborate carpet, made, like others, out of coloured sawdust, looked like it was woven.  It took all night to make and a big accident happened ... a dog ran across (see on left), leaving a streak across the pattern.  Quick repairs were made, to make it perfect again, before the coming procession destroyed it totally. 
Go to our images of Semana Santa Processions                        
This page was last updated on 04/08/17