Velación at Santa Inés, Guatemala

Veladora PanoOur arrival in Antigua, Guatemala has been punctuated by fascinating, religious celebrations corresponding with the 40 days of Lent in the Catholic religion.

On the second Friday of Lent, we joined thousand of people making the pilgrimage to a hilltop church outside of historic, colonial Antigua, Guatemala. The church was packed with wall-to-wall parishioners who came to honour the ‘Venerada Imagen de Jesús Nazareno, Aldea Santa Inés del Montepulciano.’  We were calmly sucked into continuous rotation of Guatemalans trying to reach the pulpit. The altar has been replaced by an exquisitely adorned handmade ‘carpet’ of coloured sawdust, flowers, fruits and vegetable, a cultural staple of Easter in Guatemala. Above the carpet, a nativity scene is set depicting a story from the bible. They come to pray, to ask for forgiveness and to give thanks. And they come to take pictures of the stunning display this year. (Changes every year)

We found ourselves easily funnelled back out to the celebratory atmosphere of the night. Live music, food vendors and revellers gave out spirited joy and sugary sweet aromas. Veladora Combo

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