Please sign in to post.

Semana Santa elsewhere in Latin America

Holy Week in Sevilla sounds wonderful, thanks! Once spent this week in Guatemala, found traditions there unique and beautiful. The parades, with heavy floats (barcas/ships) sound similar to Spain. Here is what touched me: Thursday, after his arrest, and Friday morning, Jesus was imprisoned. His mother, especially, as well as other women disciples would have been sad and worried. In the town I was in, Quetzaltenango/Xela, on Good Friday morning, women would go to the jail, and stand out in the street below a large second story area that was covered by a kind of lattice. The men prisoners, you knew they were standing there, but you couldn't clearly see them. The women sang very sad songs to the men in jail, to represent what Mary and other women, might have done to comfort Jesus. This went on for maybe half an hour. You do not need to understand all of the words to be moved by this singing. And one wonders if it is comforting for the men. They are silent, but you can kind of hear them moving around. Very touching. The other thing for Good Friday is that you're not supposed to bathe or shower that day, if your body is in water, you could turn into a fish! The family we were with told us this laughingly, but it is a tradition.

Posted by
3696 posts

I also spent Semana Santa in Guatemala. Once in Xena until Good Friday when I moved on to Antigua. I missed the prisoner tradition. But, I was there on Palm Sunday and it was stunningly beautiful with the Mayan women weaving the beautiful palms and the flowers at the church. I also spent Easter week in Antigua a couple of times and the carpets in the streets and the nightly parades were amazing. The first time I heard the haunting music (drum sounds really) it was chilling. I love Guatemala and the Holy Week is one of the best times to be there. I stay at a guest house and two years ago my 12 year old grandson was with me and the owner of the guest house was kind enough to include him in their religious rituals (he is Catholic) It was an unforgettable week. Wish more people would take the time to explore this amazing country.