(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
"Holy Week in Guatemala is celebrated with street expressions of faith, called processions, usually organized by a "hermandad". Each procession of Holy Week has processional floats and steps, which are often religious images of the Passion of Christ, or Marian images, although there are exceptions, like the allegorical steps of saints.
The Catholic fervor that currently exists in Guatemala has almost magical and mystical dyes due to the syncretism between the Mayan religion and the Catholic doctrine; it combines elements dating from the old American cultures and from Catholicism imposed by the Spanish in the Colonial era.
Syncretism appears in subtle factors such as figure drawing of a butterfly on the sawdust carpet for a Christ procession, for the butterfly, for the Maya, more than a mere insect, symbolized the Sun -one of their most important deities- and also represented life and the afterlife. That image does not appear anywhere in Holy Week activities held in Spain.
Jesús Nazareno de San José procession in Guatemala City which traditionally goes on Palm Sunday. Notice both the Catholic and the mayan insignia: Roman pendants and uniforms on one hand, and a carpet made of flowers on the other. To understand the current Guatemalan Holy Week one must go back to the religion of the Maya, where there were amazing coincidences that perhaps helped the Catholic religion fit more with the beliefs of Native Americans. One of these similarities is that indigenous Guatemalans used a palanquin to transport wealthy citizens and rulers. The cross is not exclusive of Judeo-Christian; even in Chiapas and parts of Huehuetenango it is still used to keep out evil spirits in some villages. Also as symbolic of purification, the Mayas fasted in the final five days of your calendar as well as for special holidays. For the natives it was not difficult to understand or accept the existence of the Holy Trinity because for them, the creators of this world were three, known by Mayan scholars as "G1", "G2" and "G3"; neither was to assimilate Virgin Mary, because they associated her with Ixchel -the moon, creative life- mother" (Wikipedia).