Holy Week in Guatemala is one of the best times of the year for religious tourism activities. An example of this is the Processions in Antigua Guatemala, which are a true recital of festivity, devotion, religiosity and a sample of unique culture and tradition
The colonial city is the ideal destination to enjoy and get to know in depth the celebration of the major week. You will find colorful carpets, typical candies, processions, sails and many activities to enjoy the season.
But, why do we recommend the Holy Week processions in Antigua?
The answer is simple. Because you can enjoy a real spectacle in a city declared a world heritage site. It is a religious tourist destination, its streets, temples, churches, museums and its religiousness will surprise you.
During the whole of Holy Week you will be able to observe different processions through the cobbled streets of the city. Besides, if you prefer, you can participate in the processional activities.
What is the difference between the Processions in Antigua Guatemala and those in other places
It’s definitely the religious fervor. Although in the whole country of the eternal spring you can observe processional processions, it is in Antigua where one lives with true fervor and religious passion the week of the major.
Absolutely everything is remarkable, from the veils, the colorful carpets, the churches, the mysticism of the environment, everything forms the perfect environment to live with devotion and enjoy the processions.
The participants in charge of carrying the processional processions on their shoulders are dressed according to the occasion, in shades, black or purple are the most predominant. The streets are carpeted with colorful sawdust, fruits and vegetables. The carpets are extensive and full of color. The processions pass over them and thousands of people observe the passage along the streets.
The ornaments that decorate the passage of the processions are beautiful and the decorations stand out for their shape and accuracy and because they are handmade. Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala is a real celebration that you can enjoy if you visit the colonial city.
The platforms where they carry images of the Virgin and Jesus can measure up to 20 meters in length and occupy approximately 50 and 110 cones to carry them on their shoulders. Accompanied by band music that sing funeral marches, they tour the city. Works by classical artists such as Beethoven, Verdi, Bach and Chopin are played during the procession.
Although the majority of the funeral marches that are sung are of Chapina composition, Guatemalan artists work for months to compose the music that accompanies the processions.
Each route or image has its own music that accompanies it, that is to say that the procession of Jesús Sepultado will not be the same as that of the Virgin of Dolores.
How to see the Holy Week processions in Antigua Guatemala
Every year thousands of travelers, both national and foreign, come here and finding the best place to watch the processions is a daring task. We want you to get the best place to observe the route so we show you the three best options you have when you arrive in the city.
Arriving at the church before the procession starts
It is one of the best options, for this you must inform yourself before from which church, the time and day of the procession. Don’t worry, we will also give you the name of the processions, the time, date and the church where they will come from. You will find this information below.
As we have said you should arrive before the procession leaves, so you can find the right place to observe the departure of the processional procession. During the solemn act you will be able to see first hand how the cones, the faithful and tourists like you show a feeling of reverence for the procession that will come out.
You will be able to experience the exact moment when the first funeral march sounds and the platform is lifted to carry it on your shoulders. This moment is touching and you will feel overwhelmed by the splendor and the moment and live one of the best experiences of your life.
This is the most recommended way to observe the processions of Antigua Guatemala. You should arrive well in advance as hundreds of people like you want to experience this solemn act.
Make the processional tour
The second option is a little more complicated. In the sense that you have to go through the whole area where the procession will pass. The advantage of this is that you can see the different carpets that have been made. You must bear in mind that thousands of people will try to find the best place, just like you. When you find the ideal place, you must wait for the processional procession to pass.
Arriving at the Church before the Processional Procession
It is a unique moment full of nostalgia where you can observe the solemn moment of the entrance of the processional cortege. You must arrive well in advance and take into account that the entrance is often in the early hours of the morning since the processions last several hours.
The tiredness of the cones is evident but in their faces you can see the joy of having fulfilled the goal.
During the whole of Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala there are processions. However, it is known by many that the most emblematic and outstanding ones are held on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Holy Week processions in Antigua in 2020
The processional processions that will take place in Antigua Guatemala this year are
Friday of Dolores (April 3)
- Way of the Cross of Brother Peter, from 03:00-06:00 (Temple of St. Francis the Great)
Palm Sunday (5th April)
- Palmas Procession, from 06:30-12:00 (Jocotenango Church).
- Palmas Procession (live), from 08:00-24:00 (several churches).
- Procession of Jesús Nazareno de la Reseña, from 11:00-24:00 (La Merced Church).
Easter Monday (6th April 2020)
- Procession of Jesus the Nazarene, at St. Agnes Church.
Holy Tuesday (7th April)
- Procession of Jesus the Nazarene of Silence, from 14:00-23:00 (Ermita del Santo Calvario).
Holy Wednesday (8th April)
- Procession of Jesus of the Miracle, from 14:50-02:00 (Church of San Felipe de Jesus).
- Procession of Jesus the Nazarene, from 16:00-22:00 (Church of San Mateo Milpas Altas).
Maundy Thursday (9th April)
- Procession of Jesus of Humility, from 11:00-22:00 (Church of San Cristóbal el Bajo).
- Procession of Jesus of Forgiveness, from 11:00-21:00 (Temple of San Francisco el Grande).
Holy Friday (10th April)
- Procession of Jesus the Nazarene of Penance, from 04:00-15:00 (La Merced Church).
- Act of Crucifixion, from 12:00-15:00 (Parish of San José).
- Procession of the Buried Lord and the Virgin of Solitude, from 15:00-19:00 (Parr. of San José).
- Procession of the Buried Lord, from 15:00-19:00 (Church of San Felipe).
- Procession of the Buried Lord, from 16:00-02:00 hours (School of Christ).