Semana Santa, the Holy Week preceding Easter, is Guatemala's best-known cultural event.

The country celebrates with religious services, grand processions, and colorful street decorations.

Locals make painstaking "alfombras" (carpets) out of colored sawdust, flowers, and other natural materials.


In some cases, they may work all through the night.

Each alfombra is a  labor of love, created for the sole purpose of being destroyed by processions through town.


Religious processions, including bands and floats, walk over the alfrombas, trampling them as they go. Men, women, and children are encouraged to participate.

The main float depicts Jesus and may be carried by up to 100 men.

Float of the Virgin Mary are also elaborate.

Although the processions are highly attended, there are masses, vigils, and other services within the local churches.


The largest events take place in Antigua on Palm Sunday and Good Friday,  just prior to Easter.

Markets and street food are also a big part of the events.