And right across from him...
Less than a buck a piece.
They'll even play the movies for you, to assure you that you're getting quality stuff. That same day, I read about a search warrant conducted at the home of a DVD reproduction facility. Thousands of DVD confiscated. I guess small time sellers are no big deal.
Now this is whay people come here. There are massive processions starting at beginning of Lent, culminating with the biggest processions carried out on Easter Week. Processions are also carried out in the city. Hundreds of thousands of people come to see them. Lots of Europeans and even Asians make the trip. These carpets get prepared Thursday and Friday for processions starting Good Friday at dawn. I decided, since this may be a once in a lifetime chance, to check the whole thing out starting at 11pm on Thursday night,
Thursday night before midnight.
Palacio de los Capitanes
Taking in the sights before the first procession, starting at 4am on Good Friday.
For some mysterious reason, which I haven't figured out, a plaque commemorating L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, was placed in the central park, right in front of the Cathedral. I would think that it would border on the sacrilegeous, but I get the sneaking suspicions A LOT of money changed hands for that to happen. The plaque was installed on the 100th anniversary of Hubbard's birth. A cockamamie reason was given to install it in conjunction with the city's 468th anniverary. Why 468th? Beats me. Like I said, just a front to put the plaque there.
Quick biblical history lesson:
1) An order to arrest is issued by the Jewish Council, supported by the Roman governement.
2) Jewish leaders plot to arrest Jesus in the middle of the night. 
3) The leaders and a bunch of Roman soldiers go arrest Jesus, while he prayed in Mt. Olive, under the cover of night.
4) They bring Jesus in, do the whole back and forth with Pontius Pilate and Herod, eventually sentencing and crucifying Jesus before the town is awake to know what happened.

I knew that a reenactment of the declaration of Jesus' sentence by the "Jewish leaders" would be read at 12am midnight in front of La Merced (the yellow church). What I didn't know is that they would reenact THE WHOLE thing. So here I am, taking pics, waiting until 4am when this bunch of roman soldiers come storming through with torches. It was quite awesome to see.
Roman Soldiers on their way to arrest Jesus. This played out just like in the old time. A bunch of people milling about with nothing better to do that night, followed the commotion to see what the soldiers were up to, which is what I did.
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The soldiers marched from the church, made their way around the park, to end up at the church where the procession would start at 4am.
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Everyone in the park was curious to see what the soldiers would do, so we all followed the soldier as they made their way through town.
This guy, with his real looking plastic sword, held the back of the line and stopped gawkers from walking through the formation. Sure enough, a blonde girl, oblivious to everything, walked right through the formation, from behind, while snapping pics. I thought there would be another fatality besides Jesus' that night. The catcalls and shouts of "Get Out!" hopefully shamed her into paying more attention next time.
Approaching the Arch
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Someone dropped the torch.
Late Night Snacks
Elaborate Carpet
Just like old school buses are sold in Guatemala for public transportation, an ambulance from a town in Massachusetts made its way down here.
After the soldiers returned with "Jesus", the trial went on inside. We waited outside for the procession to start.
The cucuruchos, or purpled-robed guys carried these huge poles used to lift the power cables, so that the "andas" wouldn't knock power out as they made their way through.
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These massive platforms, I'm told, weigh almost 8,000 pounds.
These two guys were sentenced to die with Jesus on the cross.
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The first anda represented Jesus walking with the crown of thorns on His head.
No idea who that guy is. Looks like Lazarus, but he's not part of the crucifixion story.
This one represented Jesus carrying the cross on the way to Calvary.
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I read somewhere that the figures on the andas always look to the right. For photographic purposes of what's the reason? Don't know. This one wasn't the exception.
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Processions usually end at the same church where they start. This one made it's way starting at 4am and was scheduled to end at 11am.
More Carpets
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Fruit Carpet
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Somehow, Pop Tarts and coffee just don't cut it anymore. I'm getting used to the good life :)

Anyway, since the next procession (Jesus' burial) would start at 12pm that Friday, I decided to go home at 5am and catch a couple hours of Zzzzzs. Came back at about 830am, had me a good breakfast, and continued taking pics.
Since this are big processions, the carpets have become more coloful and elaborate than the ones seen in previous days.
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Dyed Carpet Sawdust
Old guy using cans to make music. I admit the music was very catchy. Too bad he wasn't selling CDs.
This one started at 12pm on Good Friday. Since this one represents Jesus dead body being take to the tomb, all participants are dressed in black to symblize mourning. And no, Southerners, don't get all excited. The hooded guys are not KKK affiliated. The hoods are actually very old traditions brough over from Europe.
Incense Guy
Most people I've seen attend one of the processions.
Carrying the crown of thorns. Not sure what the other crown is about.
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Here comes a statue of Jesus' body being taken to the tomb.

Saturday's processions would be all about Mary, since Jesus was buried. On Sunday, a resurrection procession was scheduled to occur.
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These andas and the statues are commisioned works of art. This particular figure of Jesus was made in 1980 and has been used ever since.
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The guy is already tired and they've just begun. This will be a loooong day for that guy.
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Dressed in mourning attire.
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As usual, only girls can carry Mary.
Well, that was a long day. Hot, and tired, I'm taking a tuk-tuk ride home. Yes, I'm wearing three hats. HoneyBadger don't care.
View of Volcan Agua. This one is inactive. But the other two west of the city aren't...
Marimba music is the official Guatemalan music. Great in an elevator, or as soft background music at a restaurant. Irritating to hear it live for long stretches of time, no matter how cute is the little kid playing the maracas.
Overpriced they may be, but it's the only place I've seen that has BBQ and buffalo wings. And lots of drunk tourist girls at night.

Hey Shake, is this deal any good? A bucket of 6 ice-cold beers and 2 pounds of wings for $20. BTW, this is where I'm taking you to eat when you come here. Bring your own Teriyaki Sauce.
Monoloco is an overpriced joint tailor-made for americans who think all latinos eat nachos.

This restaurant is known for it's humongous nachos. The title of the pic is their slogan. Pretty good actually, and will set you back about $14 or so. Three people can eat and two can get filled up with one of these.
Good Friday Processions
HoneyBadger
Author: HoneyBadger (ID: 19648)
Posted: 2012-04-11 04:31 GMT+00:00
Mileage: 0.45 km
(1 rating)
Tags: Travel, Photography, People, Antigua Guatemala
Views: 2355
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Traffic Cop
And right across from him...
Counterfeit Movies
Less than a buck a piece.
DVD Shop
They'll even play the movies for you, to assure you that you're getting quality stuff. That same day, I read about a search warrant conducted at the home of a DVD reproduction facility. Thousands of DVD confiscated. I guess small time sellers are no big deal.
Thursday Before Good Friday
Now this is whay people come here. There are massive processions starting at beginning of Lent, culminating with the biggest processions carried out on Easter Week. Processions are also carried out in the city. Hundreds of thousands of people come to see them. Lots of Europeans and even Asians make the trip. These carpets get prepared Thursday and Friday for processions starting Good Friday at dawn. I decided, since this may be a once in a lifetime chance, to check the whole thing out starting at 11pm on Thursday night,
Central Park
Thursday night before midnight.
Palacio de los Capitanes
Catedral San Jose
Taking in the sights before the first procession, starting at 4am on Good Friday.
Scientology???
For some mysterious reason, which I haven't figured out, a plaque commemorating L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology, was placed in the central park, right in front of the Cathedral. I would think that it would border on the sacrilegeous, but I get the sneaking suspicions A LOT of money changed hands for that to happen. The plaque was installed on the 100th anniversary of Hubbard's birth. A cockamamie reason was given to install it in conjunction with the city's 468th anniverary. Why 468th? Beats me. Like I said, just a front to put the plaque there.
Roman Soldiers??
Quick biblical history lesson:
1) An order to arrest is issued by the Jewish Council, supported by the Roman governement.
2) Jewish leaders plot to arrest Jesus in the middle of the night.
3) The leaders and a bunch of Roman soldiers go arrest Jesus, while he prayed in Mt. Olive, under the cover of night.
4) They bring Jesus in, do the whole back and forth with Pontius Pilate and Herod, eventually sentencing and crucifying Jesus before the town is awake to know what happened.

I knew that a reenactment of the declaration of Jesus' sentence by the "Jewish leaders" would be read at 12am midnight in front of La Merced (the yellow church). What I didn't know is that they would reenact THE WHOLE thing. So here I am, taking pics, waiting until 4am when this bunch of roman soldiers come storming through with torches. It was quite awesome to see.
Looking for Jesus
Roman Soldiers on their way to arrest Jesus. This played out just like in the old time. A bunch of people milling about with nothing better to do that night, followed the commotion to see what the soldiers were up to, which is what I did.
IMG_2222
Marching
The soldiers marched from the church, made their way around the park, to end up at the church where the procession would start at 4am.
IMG_2228
IMG_2233
Following the Soldiers
Everyone in the park was curious to see what the soldiers would do, so we all followed the soldier as they made their way through town.
Watch Out
This guy, with his real looking plastic sword, held the back of the line and stopped gawkers from walking through the formation. Sure enough, a blonde girl, oblivious to everything, walked right through the formation, from behind, while snapping pics. I thought there would be another fatality besides Jesus' that night. The catcalls and shouts of "Get Out!" hopefully shamed her into paying more attention next time.
Approaching the Arch
IMG_2249
Woops!
Someone dropped the torch.
Late Night Snacks
Elaborate Carpet
Attleboro???
Just like old school buses are sold in Guatemala for public transportation, an ambulance from a town in Massachusetts made its way down here.
La Merced Church
After the soldiers returned with "Jesus", the trial went on inside. We waited outside for the procession to start.
Cable Saver
The cucuruchos, or purpled-robed guys carried these huge poles used to lift the power cables, so that the "andas" wouldn't knock power out as they made their way through.
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Here Comes the Anda
These massive platforms, I'm told, weigh almost 8,000 pounds.
The Two Thiefs
These two guys were sentenced to die with Jesus on the cross.
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Crown of Thorns
The first anda represented Jesus walking with the crown of thorns on His head.
Lazarus?
No idea who that guy is. Looks like Lazarus, but he's not part of the crucifixion story.
The Big One
This one represented Jesus carrying the cross on the way to Calvary.
IMG_2324
Strike a Pose
I read somewhere that the figures on the andas always look to the right. For photographic purposes of what's the reason? Don't know. This one wasn't the exception.
IMG_2332
Making the Rounds
Processions usually end at the same church where they start. This one made it's way starting at 4am and was scheduled to end at 11am.
More Carpets
IMG_2342
IMG_2344
IMG_2345
Fruit Carpet
IMG_2348
IMG_2350
IMG_2351
IMG_2352
IMG_2355
IMG_2356
IMG_2357
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A Hearty Breakfast
Somehow, Pop Tarts and coffee just don't cut it anymore. I'm getting used to the good life :)

Anyway, since the next procession (Jesus' burial) would start at 12pm that Friday, I decided to go home at 5am and catch a couple hours of Zzzzzs. Came back at about 830am, had me a good breakfast, and continued taking pics.
Carpets Getting Fancier
Since this are big processions, the carpets have become more coloful and elaborate than the ones seen in previous days.
IMG_2365
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IMG_2373
IMG_2375
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Dyed Carpet Sawdust
Street Performer
Old guy using cans to make music. I admit the music was very catchy. Too bad he wasn't selling CDs.
Procession Time
This one started at 12pm on Good Friday. Since this one represents Jesus dead body being take to the tomb, all participants are dressed in black to symblize mourning. And no, Southerners, don't get all excited. The hooded guys are not KKK affiliated. The hoods are actually very old traditions brough over from Europe.
Incense Guy
Crowded
Most people I've seen attend one of the processions.
Pages
Carrying the crown of thorns. Not sure what the other crown is about.
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Jesus's Body
Here comes a statue of Jesus' body being taken to the tomb.

Saturday's processions would be all about Mary, since Jesus was buried. On Sunday, a resurrection procession was scheduled to occur.
IMG_2412
IMG_2415
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Jesus' Body
These andas and the statues are commisioned works of art. This particular figure of Jesus was made in 1980 and has been used ever since.
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Dude... You Just Started...
The guy is already tired and they've just begun. This will be a loooong day for that guy.
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Mayan Girls
Dressed in mourning attire.
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All Girls
As usual, only girls can carry Mary.
Tuk-Tuk Ride
Well, that was a long day. Hot, and tired, I'm taking a tuk-tuk ride home. Yes, I'm wearing three hats. HoneyBadger don't care.
Sunday Stroll
View of Volcan Agua. This one is inactive. But the other two west of the city aren't...
Marimba
Marimba music is the official Guatemalan music. Great in an elevator, or as soft background music at a restaurant. Irritating to hear it live for long stretches of time, no matter how cute is the little kid playing the maracas.
Wings!
Overpriced they may be, but it's the only place I've seen that has BBQ and buffalo wings. And lots of drunk tourist girls at night.

Hey Shake, is this deal any good? A bucket of 6 ice-cold beers and 2 pounds of wings for $20. BTW, this is where I'm taking you to eat when you come here. Bring your own Teriyaki Sauce.
Nachos As Big As Your Head
Monoloco is an overpriced joint tailor-made for americans who think all latinos eat nachos.

This restaurant is known for it's humongous nachos. The title of the pic is their slogan. Pretty good actually, and will set you back about $14 or so. Three people can eat and two can get filled up with one of these.
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