Saturday, February 27, 2010

Everything's coming up roses....

....or maybe just flowers!

As Cuaresma (Lent) has just begun, so have the processions and the famous making of the alfombras (flower carpets). This past weekend was a preview of what lies ahead in the coming month. We picked up our Cuaresma schedule and it looks like each weekend from now through Easter there are more and more processions in and around Antigua. Then Semana Santa (Holy week) hits and the madness begins. Hundreds of thousands of people (according to Elizabeth Bell) will crown the streets of Antigua. We're pretty excited to be right in the heart of things, but we are heeding the advice we've been given and making plans to get the heck out of dodge for at least part of the week. From what we hear it's quite possible one could be trampled to death trying to fight their way through the incredible crowds that take over the streets of Antigua.

Last weekend Common Hope put together a committee to make the very first official Common Hope alfombra for a procession leading to Santa Catarina Bobadilla. I was in charge of a team that had made plans to visit Iximche, so unfortunately I wasn't able to participate, but I did stop by to see the work in progress. From what I've learned so far, there are different levels of intricacy when it comes to the alfombra making - everthing from the basic laying of pine needles and flower petals directly on the street to the layering of colored sawdust using stencils to the uber complex, multi-layered sawdust, flower mixture. The uber complex was what our CH team took on and it turned out magnificent.

There was much preparation Saturday evening lasting into the wee hours Sunday morning. Then the weary returned before the sun rose Sunday morning to begin the actual assembly. The worked all morning long, finishing up before the procession passed through around noontime.

Here's what I got to see around 7.30 - 8.30 in the morning.

And look at the final result!

It looks amazing, huh? Great work guys!

We can't wait for more. Hopefully we'll get a chance to get in on the making of one of these spectacular sights!

1 comment:

Maggie Fredricks said...

Beatiful! Thank you for sharing the photos of the work in progress. It's very impressive for a first effort!