Friday, January 4, 2013

Sawdust Carpets During Semana Santa in Antigua

Antigua, Guatemala puts up one of the largest Easter celebration in North America, with an estimated 200,000 people flocking to this Colonial town every year to watch the colourful Semana Santa celebrations or Holy Week, leading up to Easter. Thousands of national and international visitors crowd the cobblestoned streets to watch the costumed processions, reenactments of the crucifixion, and other ceremonies.

The most amazing part of Antigua's Semana Santa celebration, however, are the colorful carpets or "alfombras" that line the streets. Sand or sawdust is used to level the cobblestones, and is dyed different colors and interwoven with bright flowers, other plants, pine needles and even fruits. Sometimes colored sawdust is prepared for weeks in advance and then hours are spend carefully pouring, sifting and placing the sawdust into stencils.

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