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Thick incense creates a haunting, ghost-like fog during " Semana Santa" (Saints week) in Antigua, Guatemala. A passionate sensory experience that mingles Spanish and Mayan traditions in the week before Easter.  Crowds hush as the solemn procession passes by.  Colorful and festive " emana Santa" (Saint week) in Antigua, Guatemala. A passionate sensory experience that mingles Spanish and Mayan traditions in the week before Easter.  ..The streets of Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are filled day and night with endless processions of people draped in robes, carrying massive coffins with effigies of  the crucified Jesus Christ.   luxurious alfombras (Arabic word for carpet) adorning the cobbled streets between processions.  Families and friends begin preparations weeks and months ahead of the festival to create these elaborate offerings.   The vibrant and intricately patterned carpets are made of dyed sawdust in hues of black, red, yellow, purple, blue, and green.  They are pressed through intricately designed cardboard stencils.  Flowers, seeds, plants, vegetables, and pine needles add the final touches to these temporary works of art.  The carpets' designs reflect biblical symbols, Mayan traditions, and scenes from nature.   The beautiful carpets are trampled by the processions, as a way to honor Christ's death and pay penance.h arrival at night. ..Spanish missionaries from Seville initiated this religious occasion during colonial times.  ...The floats weigh up to 7,000 pounds with 50-100 curcuruchas or carriers bearing their weight.  Funeral marching bands follow the floats, announcing themselves with sounds of slowly beating drums, clapping cymbals and deep-throated tubas. Thick incense creates a haunting, ghost-like fog. Crowds hush as the solemn procession passes by.  ..Antigua, a colonial town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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