Every Semana Santa, Guatemalans Decorate Their Streets With Colorful & Intricate Sawdust Carpets

Photo by loeskieboom / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Photo by loeskieboom / iStock / Getty Images Plus

During Semana Santa, the scent of wet sawdust and pine permeates the air in Guatemala. Before Easter, the streets are decorated with elaborate, colorful alfombras de aserrín – made of sawdust, flowers, palm leaves, and other organic matter – that feature religious and cultural figures. The tradition, which combines Indigenous rituals and Christianity, dates back about 400 years. It’s not unique to Guatemala – they’re present in neighboring countries El Salvador and Honduras, as well as in places like Corpus Christi in the United States – but the Central American country’s carpets have become notable.

Read more written by Yara Simón