We spent Good Friday watching the little township of Flores set up for the Semana Santa (Easter) procession through the streets of Flores, in Northern Guatemala. Flores is a gorgeous little island town on Lake Petén Itzá. Every year on Good Friday the residents of Flores decorate the streets with elaborate, coloured “carpets”, made from sawdust. When we arrived in Flores around noon, the locals were just starting to prepare the carpets and when we returned around 5pm to marvel at their handiwork, many were still working on their little masterpieces. Each of the carpets were different. Although coloured sawdust appeared to be the primary material, flowers, fruit and vegetables were also incorporated into the designs. A lot of the locals used stencils, while others were more free form.
At around 6pm, just before sunset, the procession started in front of the Church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios. Everyone was dressed up and excited for the procession to start. In total, there were five religious floats which groups of men and women carried through the streets, walking over (and crushing!) the beautiful carpets that they had spent hours creating during the afternoon. People lined the streets to watch, while others joined in the procession. Music filled the air and there was a wonderful, festive atmosphere! The procession wound its way once around the city and then back to the Church.
In total it took about 1.5-2 hours. We took some time out in the middle to watch the sunset from the Sky Bar, which turned out to be a fabulous place from which to admire the procession from above. We then raced on ahead to see the conclusion of the procession before the steps of the Church.
We were so glad that we managed to see the procession. Antigua, Guatemala is said to have one of the biggest Semana Santa processions, which must be amazing to see. But, I really enjoyed the intimacy of the Flores Semana Santa procession.