Antigua Cultural and Karina’s Extraordinary Life have teamed up to bring you a new series called Preserving Culture. Preserving Culture will feature short films on cultural aspects of Antigua, Guatemala seen from a new perspective.
Join Antigua Cultural and Karina’s Extraordinary Life as we take you to Antigua, Guatemala to get a new perspective at Guatemala’s alfombra (carpet) building Easter tradition in the first educational segment of Preserving Culture. We speak with local school children during Semana Santa who teach us all about what it means to build one of these traditional works of art. — Alex Jones Continue reading →
This week, I explored the concept of the alfombras or carpets created before each procession. These elaborate but temporary works of art are some of the most beautiful displays that can be observed colonial Antigua and the surrounding towns on a weekly basis throughout the 6 weeks of Lent.
I took to the streets to learn how the long-lasting tradition began and why it continues to be important for local people.
Alfombras range widely in design and materials. Each carpet is unique and changes for every procession. Antigua, Guatemala — Karina Noriega
What are alfombras?
Alfombras are large hand-made carpets normally created out of brightly coloured sawdust, flowers and vegetation.
When are alfombras the created?
Alfombras are expressly created prior to the arrival of a procession. Depending on the hour the procession will pass, people may spend an entire sleepless night preparing the alfombra.
The bearers of the procession’s andas (the massive display platforms) will then carry the image of Christ and the Virgin Mary over the alfombra, completely destroying it.
Who makes each of the alfombras? Who covers the costs and labour?