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Friday, May 27, 2011

Sand Carpets–Copan, Honduras

Sand carpes in Copan, HondurasWhile on family vacation in Copan, Honduras we witnessed the “painting” of the Sand carpets.  We arrived in town the night before Good Friday.  The street was blocked off next to the central park and teams of people were drawing with colored sand or saw dust.  We didn’t know what they were doing or why.  From the looks of it we guessed that there were different teams creating various images.  Maybe it was a contest?  100_1454As you can see from the picture they have paper drawn out that they use to guide  where to pour the sand.  The street is layered in hay, then topped with brown sand, and finally drawn on with colored sand.  100_1453
In the morning we quickly realized that this was a series of paintings creating the story of Jesus’s last hours and resurrection.  This is a tradition in Honduras to celebrate Semana Santa, or holy week leading up to Easter. 
Here is the view from the balcony of our hotel.  That had a ladder set up at the other end, but the line was long.  Now I wish I had waiting in line!
painted carpets balcony view
Painted carpet Jesus
Sand carpet of sheep in Copan Honduras
Late on Good Friday evening there was a procession that made it’s way through the streets led by a priest.  Once they made it to the sand carpets, in the pouring rain, the procession stopped and there was a sermon, given from a megaphone.  After the sermon and prayers were complete they proceeded to walk across the carpet. 

Saturday, the next morning they began to sweep it all away.  They used the sand as mulch around the trees in the park.
On Easter Sunday there was another procession through town.  Here is a picture of them making their way down the street.  This has to be about half of the town.  DSCF0371

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