Friday, February 19, 2010

Easter Season in Guatemala City

Photo by, used with authorization.
In the Christian tradition, today is the first Friday of the Easter Season, which began two days ago on Ash Wednesday.
The catholic expressions of faith during the Easter Season in Guatemala City are not as famous as those we can see in Antigua Guatemala; however, let me  tell you that these are as beautiful and splendid as those are.
Photo by, used with authorization. 
For what I have seen, the Easter Season is carefully observed throughout the country; actually, there are towns where the rituals are conducted in ways that could give all of us a better understanding  of the local culture and the syncretism that has occurred between the ancient Maya beliefs, traditions, and folklore, with the Catholicism as has been practiced since the Spanish colonial times.
Photo by, used with authorization. 
Note: the tree in the background is a fragrant matilisguate.
Anyway, since we are almost done with the journey through Guatemala City, my objective today is not to lecture you about catholic religion, but to give you a glimpse of the way the Holy Week is celebrated in the city with processions, flowers' rugs, music, and even food.
Photo by, used with authorization. 
To tell you the truth, my personal memories of the Easter Season are probably more earthly than religious because every detail I remember is always associated with joy, with colorful and fragrant flowers, such as the jacarandas, matilisguates, and corozo (flower from a palm tree that are profusely used during the whole season), and with food. I know, every celebration in Guatemala is associated with a special dish and I have to tell you, as most of the Guatemalan families, mine was part of the rule, never the exception. One of my favorite dishes was, and still is this desert called torrejas, one of my mother's Holy Week specialties.
Photo by, used with authorization. 
Last but not least, the music also plays an important role in the Easter celebrations. I found this video in Youtube and as far as I can understand, it belongs to the Website I sincerely hope they won't mind sharing it with all of us. The music is not the usual band but a delicate arrangement played by a marimba.

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