The Alfombras of Semana Santa
Aside from the religious events, what makes the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration in Antigua, Guatemala so unique are the flower and sawdust “alfombras” (carpets) created on the cobblestone streets of the town.
These huge works of art are created by anyone who wants to and exist for the sole purpose of the Semana Santa processional floats to parade over.
The making of the sawdust carpets starts with sand being spread over the cobblestone streets to level the ground. Next, dyed sawdust in hues of all colors are gently sprinkled through intricately designed cardboard stencils. Flowers, seeds, plants, vegetables, and pine needles are often added as final touches.
There are numerous processional floats parading through town for several days leading up to Easter so new alfombras are constantly being created over the course of the week. Every alfombra is truly a labor of love and special in its own way.