Semana Santa, otherwise known as Holy Week. I had the pleasure of taking in Holy Week celebrations in Antigua, Guatemala, back in 2005.
Watching the ‘carpet’ preparations that covered the streets of Antigua, a beautiful city situated near the Agua Volcano in Central Guatemala, was amazing.
The colours, sights and sounds of Holy Week were nothing I have ever experienced before. Elaborate street carpets made out of wood shavings, intricate designs made out of fruits and grains in the local Cathedrals. These Guatemalans with energy depicted the Passion of Jesus in all of its stages throughout the City.
Hearing the people singing in the streets three days later, a rousing rendition of “Resuscito” (Resurrection in Spanish, sung over and over again) at around 4 am in the morning. Was actually my highlight of the entire event. After a whole week of what I felt was very intense mourning and death reenactment. The beauty of the hope at the end was my joy. Even if I had to be awakened for it. An awakening of realization after the reality of the death Jesus went through, into a dawning of the new day of Resurrection life.
|Rev 21:6||He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.|
For all of you this year, may you have a very Happy Easter.
The evening of Good Friday, the Cathedral in Antigua was lit up with Candles. In the wee hours of the
morning people across the downtown core of Antigua began to build the Carpets ‘Alfombras’ for the
processions to take place the next day.
Here is a picture of myself beside an elaborately decorated Alfombra (carpet) in Antigua, Guatemala.
The elaborate processions that parade through the streets, depicting the journey of Jesus and the
Stations of the Cross is making its way up the street towards where I am located.
This procession will continue through the streets, destroying the carpets in their wake.
The Alfombras were regularly sprayed with water to keep them from cracking and drying under the
heat of the day.
It wouldn’t be Antigua during Holy Week, without the Yellow Arch of Antigua.
The Caption for this reads simply: “Resuscito”
A young boy and girl from their doorstep in Bethlehem in 2007.
The streets of a refugee camp are very tight and built close together.
The homes and streets are literally built around the rocks of the hillside.
What I find the most interesting are usually the people that make up a place. Here is a woman in traditional dress in Bethlehem on the edge of Deheisheh Refugee Camp 2007.
People love to sit outside and chat in the shade during the hot days of summer.
Here the Young and Old of Bethlehem are seen.
Picture taken of the Garden Tomb at the Easter Sunrise service in 2009.
Visited the home of Birgitta Yavari-Ilan in Yemen Moshe, Jerusalem, 2009. This woman’s paintings are exquisite and so are her stories. http://birgittayavariilan.wordpress.com/
Here is a link to a recent news article interviewing Birgitta Yavari-Ilan, the article is in Finnish, but the video interview is done completely in English. Israel Art – Birgitta Yavari-Ilan
I was able to visit Cyprus in May 2009, it is a very beautiful country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limassol
Luke 6:45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Jerusalem has many great eateries and restaurants, but the Shuk (pronounced: shook) is where you would go for relatively cheap produce and goods.