Carpeting the Streets of Guatemala

A street carpeted in Guatemala for the Easter holiday.

Hi, my name is Maria and I was born in Guatemala. One of the things that most intrigues me about my country is the tradition they have at Easter time of carpeting the streets. In Antigua, it is very big. The head if the town, provides a map to the townspeople, showing which homeowner is responsible for each section of the street. Then people spend weeks, drawing out and planning their carpets. They also have to grow and gather all of the needed fruit, flowers and plants for the carpet. Once the design is drawn, they carefully set down colored sawdust or wood shavings. Once this is done, they lay down flowers, fruit and some vegetables. They only have 24 hours to actually build the carpet....the day before Good Friday.

Shortly after this is done a very important religious procession marches down the pathway of the carpet on Good Friday.

This beautiful tradition that occurs in Guatemala every Easter is called "ephemeral art", which is shared by many cultures around the world. Ephemeral simply means that it doesn't last very long. The people take months to design and execute, but only minutes to destroy by the shuffling feet.

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