Tuesday, June 22, 2010

La Procesion en Antigua

Thursday, June 3, 2010

In Antigua, religion is very important to many people, I feel like more so than in the United States. I say this because I know a lot of people who believe in God but do not attend mass, but here in Antigua many people close down their business on Sunday, or close early and the day is dedicated to God. In addition many people attend mass on Sunday and there are 5 different times in which people can go to mass. I really enjoy mass because it is in Spanish and it is easier for me to understand what is going on on since I have always heard mass in Spanish. I wish that Pacific, had a mass in Spanish because for some people like myself mass is easier and better in Spanish. I guess this must sound weird since the word of the Lord is the same in any language, but I have always heard it in Spanish and so it is familiar and also all of the different prayers and the responses and songs I know them in Spanish and not English. And finally to me everything, all the syllables and the songs, the prayers everything sounds better in Spanish, which is probably because when I was growing up it all was in Spanish.

The Cathedral by el Parque Central

On Thursday the Catedral by the Parque Central had what is called a Procesion, which is an organized religious parade in which the people involved travel from the Cathedral all around Antigua and then back to the Cathedral. During this time the priest carries smething that is kinda smoky with him and this symbolizes the body of Christ in a way. The steps leading up to the Cathedral were decorated with flowers and the little long things that come from Pine Trees.
At the bottom of the steps was a decorated afombra, or carpet that was made from different colored sawdust.
In addition the children dressed up as Angels and stood outside of the cathdral and when the Prcesion passed by they would throw flower petals or colored tissue paper on the ground.
In addition at the end of everything there was a band that played religious songs and followed the Procesion.

For this event the Parque Cetral was filled with many people and many vendors as well especially food vendors. n Guatemala the traditional plate for festivities is Pepian (i don't know how to describe this other than delicious) and tayuyos (tamales made with beans). So that day for Lunch our family made Pepian and I bought the tayuyos, as a compromise because they were not supposed to have Pepian then because the Merced's Procesion is when they have Pepian.
There was a lot of people present for the Procesion

The Priest is in the Center and there is a lot of people following him out of the Cathedral

All the poeple who came to accompany the Procesion

I also learned about a tradition between boyfriends and girlfriends, which is called El Intercambio, the exchange. During this time there are people who sell doves and little monkeys that have special messages and so the boy buys his girlfriend a dove and she buys him a monkey and then they exchange. Danny and I participated in this and I gave him a Monkey and he got me a Monkey too, because some people say the boy gets the monkey for the girl and she gets a dove for him which is all much too confusing! But it was great to be able to participate in a tradition like this.
The Dove & Monkey that is exchanged between couples

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