Lake Atitlan Semana Santa, one of the most spectacular times of year in Guatemala is during Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Holy Week traditions in Santa Catarina Palopó and San Antonio Palopó two villages located on the shores of Lake Atitlan also host the most beautiful religious celebrations.
Lake Atitlan Semana Santa
Traditional processions are a big focus of Holy Week festivities, which take place on Good Friday. The streets of Santa Catarina Palopó and San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala turn into a canvas which are adorned with intricate and aromatic carpets (alfombras) of vibrant and beautiful flowers, pines, sawdust, and fruits.
The colorful celebration for Semana Santa is a feast for the senses and is centered on processions which can be compared to a slow-moving parade where large wooden floats known as andas are carried on the back of local men and women. The andas bear images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The music of Semana Santa is solemn and usually played in minor keys by a band following the anda. Young boys have the role of bearing and swinging incense burners filling the air with fragrant and smoky copal and setting the mood.
Women wear traditional black dresses with long lace shawls covering their heads as they carry short candles with rosaries dangling from their hands. This is a passionate sensory experience that mingles Spanish and Mayan traditions and is an event that truly represents the heart and soul of Guatemala.
If you have never been to Guatemala during the Easter processions then you are in for an experience of a lifetime. Being in Lake Atitlan to witness the celebration is and something that we highly recommend. More information can be found at Semana Santa Tours.
Visit Guatemala and discover the spectacle of Lake Atitlan Semana Santa Tour.