Below is another one of my super fantastic videos, this time of a traditional Semana Santa procession in the backstreets of Antigua, Guatemala. Enjoy, then read on, then comment…
Most people would try to come to one of these far off places for a celebration like this. They would plan months or years in advance to make sure they had ringside tickets to see the show. They would research and plan and find out about all the kooky off beat things that happen in a Latin American country on Jesus’s deathday. The more adventurous would try and find some out of the way little town or local neighborhood to really soak up the authentic flavor that only an enormous religious festival like Semana Santa can bring.
No we just happened to leave Mexico when our lease expired, and arrive in Antigua Guatemala right at the start of this giant festival of epic proportions. We just happened to find ourselves renting a place in the quaint (although apparently dangerous at night) little neighborhood of Santa Ana. We just happened to go for a walk one morning and stumble across a procession with thousands of locals.
It was like a scene from Globetrekker (why did they stop that show?!), and yet rather than having to carefully time our arrival, or desperately seek out accommodation or event locations, rather than scouring the internet for hours frustrated at looking at the same information on dozens of different websites yet never finding what I am actually looking for (bring on web 3.0), we just somehow managed to plonk ourselves right down in the middle of the pre Semana Santa ceremonies, I didn’t even know they had pre-ceremonies.
There was even one occasion where on the way home in the evening, our car was stopped and we had to wait about 20 minutes as a procession straight out of the aforementioned Globe Trekker passed directly in front of us. There were people carrying huge floats of devils, demons and holy people, bands playing loud traditional music, locals standing around enthralled by the Holy Effigies passing meters from our bonnet as lights, sounds and smells filled the air.
And then I rolled up the windows and cranked the AC while mumbling curses under my breath for the delay.
Most people seek out these amazing events around the globe, but somehow we just seem to keep stumbling over the damn things, whether we want to or not.
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