Semana Santa Sawdust Carpets in Antigua

We came to Antigua during one of the busiest times of the year, Semana Santa, to see the makings of the sawdust carpets. Antigua is THE place in Central America to experience the glory of Semana Santa.

Semana Santa is Easter Week and the whole town of Antigua enlivens with color, energy and celebration.

What is a Sawdust Carpet?

A sawdust carpet is made out of sawdust and during Semana Santa, people create these beautifully, decorative carpets that take long hours to make and then get walked over by the parade processions. They are made out of colored sawdust, flowers, fruits and vegetables. And they are stunning! We walked around the city with no other plans except to find beautiful carpets.

Detail, color and beauty in these sawdust carpets.

Detail, color and beauty in these sawdust carpets.

The Making of a Sawdust Carpet in Antigua

An area of the bumpy cobblestone street is leveled with a layer of plain sawdust. This creates a nice base for the decorative artwork. The base layer of color is put on and then the art begins.

Boards are placed so that decorators don't trample on the carpet.

Boards are placed so that decorators don't trample on the carpet.

There are no strict rules for making carpets: they can be as simple as laying down some pine needles, flowers and or fruit and vegetables on the cobble-stoned streets. Or as complex as preparing and richly coloring sawdust for weeks in advance and then spending hours carefully pouring, sifting and placing the sawdust into stencils.

Stencils are used so that symmetry and perfection are achieved.

Stencils are used so that symmetry and perfection are achieved.

For intricate carpets such as this one, the decorators usually start the night before or wee early in the morning.

The colors of sawdust are so rich!

The colors of sawdust are so rich!

The details! It was amazing to see.

The details! It was amazing to see.

Getting ready for another set of the pattern.

Getting ready for another set of the pattern.

Check it out, one of the beautiful sawdust carpets in Antigua.

Check it out, one of the beautiful sawdust carpets in Antigua.

Picture of the rich details...

Picture of the rich details...

The magnificent saw dust carpets are a feast for the eyes. It’s almost unfortunate that a procession walks right over them and they are quickly cleaned up after the procession by a clean up crew. Antigua…you are awesomely impressive.

More pictures of the Sawdust Carpets for Semana Santa

 

 

Tags: , ,

10 Responses to “Semana Santa Sawdust Carpets in Antigua”

  1. Carol Kaatz April 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Loved the details about how they make the carpets…did you find out how they color the sawdust, or where all the sawdust comes from? I enjoyed your photography of all the different carpets! I guess this is a community effort…do people come from other towns to actually be in it, or is it all locals? I know…I have a lot of questions! I am intrigued by all the work that goes into this!

    (I am Rachel Denning’s mom, btw!)

  2. Rebecca April 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    WOW. I know where I’m going next easter! San Pedro, Belize is a very different situation…

    • S King April 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      It WAS incredible…big street parties with street vendors, yet not crazy or out of control. We were so impressed with everything.

  3. Allison April 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    That is just so cool….

  4. Mary April 25, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Those are amazing! Much like the sand mandala making in Tibet. During Corpus Christi they made these along my street in barrio Jesus but nothing this elaborate! What a cool experience to watch them doing it! I bet the kids were impressed.

  5. Brock - Backpack With Brock April 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    These look amazing! It’s hard to believe they’re made just of sawdust. Beautiful!

  6. Jennifer Pearce April 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Your posts about Antigua make me want to go back there for another visit, especially during Semana Santa. It is such a charming town, in so many ways. I really like the towering volcano too. It took my breath away when I first noticed it during our visit, because I wasn’t expecting it at all. Very impressive place. Thank you for sharing your experiences and all those beautiful photos!

  7. Lisa Wood April 27, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    Oh my gosh – that is beyond stunning…how can they walk over it when its finished??? I wouldnt want to as the carpets looks too good! I love how they are made – such a simple idea (using sawdust) yet it looks incredible! Amazing.

  8. Lana December 8, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Thanks for writing this. Adding this to my bucket list for sure.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Colors of Semana Santa | Living Outside of the Box - April 8, 2013

    […] To learn more about the carpets, read here. […]

Leave a Reply