At the beginning of Lent in Guatemala, it is a custom and tradition for parishioners after Ash Wednesday to start performing the famous vigils (velaciones) and processions in honor of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
The lent traditions are celebrated in towns, villages all over Guatemala. One of the most spectacular traditions are the Vigils, consisting in decorating the church of the place; on the main altar of the church are usually the images that commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ, represented with a biblical passage. There is also garden-like carpet made of multicolored sawdust that with patience and dedication are expressions of art, which inspire visitors, these are made by the cofradías (brotherhoods) of each church, usually, all this celebration is accompanied by music that provides the soundtrack for Lent. Outside the church, there are a lot of typical food sales, accessories, ice cream vendors, etc. This event takes place throughout the day on Friday and continues with the departure of the procession, which takes place on Sunday.
Many elements make this spiritual event something very special for catholic people, from the smell of corozo, the sound of the church bells to the colors used in this period. There is no doubt that this is a time for meditation and a call of devotion for the faithful devotees.