Easter Processions

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In Guatemala, Easter week is the most important 'occasion' of the year. Schools get the week off, and most businesses close from Wednesday onwards.

The Easter processions for which Guatemala is famous are realized in every town and village. They were started by the Spanish as a way of bringing a visual catechism  to 'the pagans'. The major events of holy week are dramatized, with the main processions being on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

For the processions, 'carpets' are prepared on the streets. These usually use sawdust as a base. Sawdust dyed in various colors is laid over the base, using stencils. 'Carpets' have to be made rapidly, and usually friends and neighbors get together to make a carpet, which may be three yards wide and fifty yards long. These beautiful carpets are destroyed when the procession passes over them !!!