Antigua reopens its Lenten celebrations with fervor!!
Well known to have to largest celebration in the world, velaciones (holy vigils) and processions were hampered in mid-Lent 2020 when the world closed for the pandemic and Guatemala was no exception. In 2021, some activities were carried out by the Hermandades – the lay groups that organize the Lenten activities – behind the churches’ closed doors and by invitation only. The City of Antigua sponsored some carpet making in the Central Park to give locals a sense of some normality.
With Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday on March 2nd this year, as the jacarandas bloomed with their lovely purple flowers around Antigua, the first velaciones appeared more beautiful than ever. Incredible displays of the processional sculptures, sawdust carpets and fruits and vegetables representing the Garden of Gethsemane glow in different churches!
We were so excited to experience the first procession at Santa Ana on the Fourth Sunday of Lent – with its traditional spectacular floats albeit only within the church’s neighborhood. The array of processions for Holy Week were announced and carriers began to sign up so we are delighted to announce that almost all of the processions and Lenten activities will occur this year! These include the outstanding La Merced Palm Sunday procession, San Mateo Milpas Altas and San Felipe de Jesus on Wednesday, San Francisco and San Cristobal el Bajo Maundy Thursday and the Good Friday processions from La Merced, Escuela de Cristo, San Felipe de Jesús and San José Catedral! Even the traditional processions of the Virgin Mary will enhance the colonial streets of Antigua and the Easter procession from San José Catedral!
All of the activities announced will follow strict protocols which include some social distancing in the churches and special regulations for the processions which include vaccination requirements for carriers! As the city of Antigua remains in an orange zone, we have the “go” from the Archbishop of Guatemala.
There is a great sense of hope as Antigua has reopened for foreign and national visitors alike. We have welcomed many who had to postpone their visit or wedding in 2020 and are here enjoying Guatemala’s unique, authentic hospitality.
Check with us for up-dates and also check my bilingual publication “Lent and Holy Week/Cuaresma y Semana Santa La Antigua Guatemala” for a full history, details about Carpet making, Holy Vigils, Sculptures, Funeral Marches and Calendars of events. Available widely in Antigua and also on www.amazon.con