This was originally going to be a part of the previous post, but that went longer than anticipated. So now it gets its own.
Semana Santa is Holy Week. I didn’t see much happening most of the week, but I knew Good Friday would be something special. Friday morning I was up bright and early walking with Lucy and Tera, and we walked the city to see if we could find out what the plan was for the day. We ended up at the Catholic church and found a beautiful alfombra leading up to the door.
We asked the couple who had worked through the night on it, and they informed us the procession would begin at the church after mass, at approximately 9 o’clock. So we hurried home toget our families fed. Passing these alfombras and other offerings along the way.
We Americans all met back at the church around 9. Silly us; we forgot we were in Guatemala! Nothing begins when they say it will. We did check out the inside of the church, though. It was beautifully decorated for the occasion, and we saw the platforms that would be carried for the processions(substantially smaller than the one in Antigua).
We had things to do to prepare for our Easter celebration, so we headed to the Jensen’s house for our own brand of fun. I was a bit disappointed; but since Terry wasn’t going to join us anyway, he spent a little bit of time waiting. He got to watch the procession leave the church and start around town.
Later that afternoon, we headed to the main street of Pana to check out the alfombras and the party. It was crazy busy and loud, but the art was beautiful. There wasn’t anything as grand as Antigua, but I loved them. Miri’s favorite was the coffee mug made of coffee beans; it was pretty cool even if it did smell bad. 😀 We were told the procession was planned to get to the top of Santander at 5, so we arranged to meet the Jensens after a short respite from the festivities.
tomatoes and eggplant
Some of the kids insisted I get a picture of the artsy melons
Onion and orange slices
Oh, I’m sorry, did I already forget that I am in Guatemala?! While we enjoyed the atmosphere and the break dancing and the street art (and the kids bought an assortment of candy for general conference), I hadn’t bargained for waiting another two hours to see a procession! Luckily Terry had stayed home with the younger two after Shelby absolutely refused to walk out the door; apparently Antigua scarred her more than we knew. Again, I didn’t get any pictures; but there was incense, a band, a Christ platform, and a Mary platform. I loved the reminder of why we celebrate Easter.
And that was it. A long wait for a short procession. But I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing how others commemorate this beautiful time of year and how they show gratitude to Jesus for all He did for them.
And that was the extent of the big “to dos” for Easter. Saturday was peaceful because that is when he was in the tomb; and they may have done something for Sunday to celebrate the resurrection, but I have no idea what that might have been.
A side note:
In our tutor sessions with Gaby, we explained to her how we celebrate Easter in the States. She found it all very humorous and could not comprehend what any of that has to do with Pascua (Easter). We had no good answers for her; it’s just what we do. (I DID miss my Easter candy this year).
And I was sharing this with Lucy on one of our morning walks and how it was so cool that the locals here actually put a lot of effort into celebrating the atonement and crucifixion of Jesus. She agreed, but she also explained that the celebration also involves a lot of beer, half-dressed women, loud music, and not so reverent activities.
I guess we all find our own way of showing devotion to our Savior for all He did. And it is personal. And it is good.