Every year during Easter the hills of Guatemala come alive as thousands of Maya celebrate Semana Santa, Mayan Holy Week. This is without a doubt one of the world’s most spectacular events.
Special market days occur in almost every village. Cities erupt as thousands of families from the countryside and back-hills pack up and visit, many wearing their finest traditional outfits.
The mixture of Mayan beliefs and styles combined with Catholicism and a host of other Christian denominations all come together to provide a spiritual backdrop that leave many in tears thinking about it after the experience. The Maya are devout people and celebrate their passions with much fanfare and zealousness.
Described in the following web pages and pictures are some of the events. Not all. There are so many and we could not be in two places at the same time so what is portrayed here is a sampling of what occurs.
We regret that the best pictures could not be taken. The most dramatic scenes occur in churches or at night. The carpets are lit up with candles and many people walk the streets holding candles.
Neither can we supply the “sounds” nor in some cases “the lack of sound”, like the women’s “Procession of Resurrection” night procession, which was totally silent and lit by candles. Only a lone Mayan flutiest leads this procession while a marching band drum ensemble followed with a melancholy drum beat. At the beginning of this procession, other than the whistling of the flute you could hear a pin drop.