Magic Carpet Ride- Guatemala:|:May 4, 2017

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We took a magic carpet ride to Antigua, the original capital of Guatemala. Antigua has been kept as a national monument, undeveloped and colonial.

It was wildly crowded during Holy Week with Guatemalan worshipers, multitudes of participants, and the curious, like us.

One could not help but be moved by the color, the preparations, the clothing and the tradition we were steeped in.

We arrived to streets being calmly festooned with carpets made of naturally died sawdust in intense bright colors. Stencil molds made the intricate patterns in some of them. In others, the carpets were more free formed. Some were made on a layer of pine needles, decorated with flowers, fruits, nuts and grasses.

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carpet close up Carpet close up
Carpet with praying bananas with grape heads on pine needles over candlelight in a rose petal and marguerite daisy heart Carpet of  praying bananas with grape heads on pine needles over candlelight in a rose petal and marguerite daisy heart

No sooner was one finished but a procession of forty or more parishioners carrying a float the size of a trailer bed, heavy with sculptures of the Virgin or Jesus among angels or apostles would march over it followed by a band and multitudes of extras.

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I am not a religious girl but I am a spiritual one, a believer in energy and a lover of story. Glory and devotion overflowed. Offerings were plentiful and loving.

The weight of the floats was enormous, like that of a heavy truck. Carriers would switch out from time to time for relief.

The marchers shifted their weight in an exaggerated sway from left to right foot, giving the scene a kind of living breath.

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Some carpets were made of edibles. The mangos, chilies and coconuts got scooped up in the aprons of hungry spectators. Gigantic drums, tubas and flutes pounded a dirge which became firmly secured into our heads and hearts.

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After the procession, the glorious carpets were quickly swept up.

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A new replacement was quickly begun for the next passage.

Guatemalan families in their brilliant hand woven clothing came to stay, sleeping along side of the processions as they continued until 4 am.

 

This woman, wearing her beautiful huipile, sold me this bag she made from antique huipiles from Chichicastenanago.

IMG_7943 Vender selling her Huipile bags
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On Easter Sunday, we drove off to Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango to visit the Mayan church and the markets.

Lake Atitlan and Volcano Lake Atitlan and Volcano
Mayan church in Chichicastenango Mayan church in Chichicastenango
Markets in Chichicastenango Markets in Chichicastenango

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When we returned to Antiqua, it was emptied and quiet, returned to its sleepy historic simplicity.

Return to the quiet Antiqua after Holy Week Return to the quiet Antiqua after Holy Week

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This was an Easter week like no other for us. Wondrous, inspirational and historical.

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