Travel Photo Challenge Day 8 – Guatemala

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I’ve been nominated by some fellow bloggers, Tony and Margie with Back Roads and Other Stories as well as Jyothi with Travel Explore Enjoy, to post one favorite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then to nominate someone else to participate.  That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations.  It is my understanding that the idea behind the challenge is to expose audiences to new bloggers and vice versa.  I’m always up for helping fellow bloggers, so I have accepted the challenge. 

That said, my rule following self is going to follow Tony and Margie’s lead and break a handful of them.  First, while a picture paints a 1,000 words, I’m incapable of posting a photo without some explanation.  Sometimes the story makes the image that much more special.  Second, though not specified, I think the intent is to post 10 days in a row.  I’ll be lucky if I post 10 weeks in a row. I also may post more than one photo at times.

World’s Largest Easter Celebration in Antigua, Guatemala

In light of Fat Tuesday, I thought I’d post a photo related to lent and Easter. One of the most interesting celebrations I’ve been to, is the world’s largest Easter celebration in Antigua, Guatemala.  The celebration commemorates the Passion, the Crucifix, and the Resurrection of Jesus.  The festivities come from an Andalusian tradition brought over by the Spanish. Processions take place every Sunday during lent, but most of the activities happen during Holy Week, the seven days before Easter.

You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this celebration.  You just have to like colorful artistry.  The activities begin with carpet making, and not of the variety which you’d find in a home.  The alfombras, or carpets, are made of dyed sawdust, sand, flowers, vegetables, fruit, bread, pine needles, figurines and more.

alfombra at Antigua's Easter celebration
For this one, they provided a ladder for viewing!

Each business or person on the scheduled procession route, may design and prepare a colorful carpet on the road in front of their store or home.  Most are rectangular in fashion, feature an elaborate design, and include bright colors.  The artists spend many hours creating them from materials they’ve collected months in advance.

They are truly remarkable to see!  And despite a million people descending on the small Town of Antigua during Holy Week, the experience is quite pleasant.  Visitors and locals are polite. There is no pushing and shoving in the crowds. Everyone gets a chance to see the beautiful designs.

It was heartbreaking, however, to see them all get destroyed by the procession!  I couldn’t believe all that hard work disappeared in seconds.  At least, locals follow the floats and pick up the fresh flowers to keep.  Then it all gets swept up by the waste management group!

The carpet creating and processions sometimes take place four times a day, so there are many to see. Find more photo’s at My World’s Largest Easter Celebration post. I liked weaving through the streets so much, that Antigua and its celebration made my list for returning one day. I wish to add more days on in Lake Atitlan as well since I did not schedule enough time there during my previous visit.

Today I nominate Ruth Rosenfeld, as I’m reminded of her from a recent post about making tortillas in Guatemala.  I did that too with a family in a small town called Potrerillos where we volunteered to build a bottle school.  Another amazing experience in Guatemala.

Anyway, Ruth’s blog includes travel stories from all over the world with excellent photography. Also, she was recently nominated for the Outstanding Blogger Award. How exciting! Wouldn’t that be fun to get! Check her site out.  ETB 


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

photographic note card, camellia
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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

2 thoughts on “Travel Photo Challenge Day 8 – Guatemala

  1. One of my favorite festivals ever! And different every year. I was at one village where a bottle school was built. What an amazing project to take part in.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and challenge. I hope you won’t mind if I respond a little differently. I will choose some from my photo travel pages for just one page. I spent months reviewing gigabytes of photos to put those together. There are so many wonderful challenges out there, but I’m trying to keep to my own schedule of posts!

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