Ash Wednesday takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday and is February 10th this year.
Ash Wednesday Semana Santa
These traditional processions take place against the backdrop of solemn music, incense, alfombras, and a pageantry of color.
Women wear traditional black dresses with long lace shawls covering their heads as they carry short candles with rosaries dangling from their hands.
Young boys have the role of bearing and swinging incense burners filling the air with fragrant and smoky copal and setting the mood.
Men carry andas, which look like a float, with a sculpture of Jesus carrying the crucifix.
In Guatemala, the Mayan tradition of creating elaborate alfombras, or carpets of dyed sawdust, flowers, leaves, petals, berries, fruits, pine needles, and vegetables is a tradition and also an absolute site to behold.
Creative and colorful these alfombras are created by families and friends who work together, in what is best described as a labor of love, to design some of the most exquisite works of art.
After all of the hours of hard work, the processions come through and walk over the beautiful alfombras leaving them scattered and strewn. Street crews then quickly clean up. Although the alfombras do not last, the traditions and memories continue.
For more information on Semana Santa tours in the Lake Atitlan area visit http://growyourowncure.org/semana-santa-in-lake-atitlan/