Antigua Tours by Elizabeth Bell

Antigua Tours LLC has specialized in Cultural Tourism in Guatemala since 1992. We offer personalized itineraries based on traveler’s needs and requests. We offer efficient travel throughout the country with new vehicles, licensed guides and great rates on hotels and airlines.

++502 7832-5821 | ++502 7832-2046 4a Calle Oriente #39 La Antigua Guatemala info@antiguatours.net

Antigua Tours Main Office – 3a Calle Oriente #28A Lobby Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua Guatemala. | info@antiguatours.net

It’s that spectacular time of year again in Antigua Guatemala!

It’s that spectacular time of year again in Antigua Guatemala!

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 26th and, with it, the largest celebration in the world for Lent and Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala! Some of the busiest days are the Fifth Sunday (March 29th), Palm Sunday (Aril 5th) & Good Friday (April 10th). With more than 60 activities during the 40 days of Lent, there are velaciones (holy vigils) every Friday and processions every Sunday at different churches in and around the city. Thousands upon thousands of people participate in the incredible decorations with sawdust and flower carpets at the vigils and throughout the processional routes that change from procession to procession. Many activities – particularly children’s processions – have increased over time. It is the most fascinating time of year!

These traditions were introduced to Guatemala when the Spanish conquers came in 1524. The floats that carried the wooden sculptures of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, St. John and Mary Magdalena were small in those days. Today the largest float is the Good Friday procession from San Felipe de Jesus with the Christ figures carried on the shoulders of 100 carriers – known as cucuruchos – changing turns at every corner throughout the 15 hour route!

My favorite part of the year is carpet making. Hours before the procession departs, entire neighborhoods are on their hands and knees creating the most gorgeous designs out of flowers and dyed sawdust and a local pod – corozo – which is very fragrant. Residents and visitors alike participate. The incense in the air and the flute and the drum are the first signs a procession is arriving! The abundant Guatemalan composed funeral marches can be heard everywhere. A band follows the Christ figure and another band follows the Virgin Mary not to mention the CDs that have become popular and can be heard throughout the town.

We look forward to seeing you in Antigua. We offer a special schedule of unique tours for you to enjoy this cultural heritage.

Elizabeth Bell, an expert in the cultural history of the UNESCO site of Antigua Guatemala, opened Antigua Tours in 1992 and loves touring participants around this magical city. Author of seven books, countless articles and award winning for her preservation efforts, Elizabeth brings to life special details through this blog.

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