Now I wasn’t expecting this to happen so thought it worthy of its own blog entry. I wandered out one afternoon on a sunday at about 4.30 p.m., the town was buzzing and people were lining the streets and sitting on the kerbs. Something was coming up the road but i couldn’t make out what it was so i just waited like everybody else.
Apparantly Antigua has the largest Easter celebration in the world ! It was actually about 3 weeks before Easter but the celebrations start early and gradually build up to a massive celebration over the Easter. Huge floats are carried around the town with images of Jesus Christ and others, each float can weigh a few tons and require many people to carry it.
The procession soon arrived and i was swept along with the people !
The women didn’t get off lightly though, they had their own floats to carry –
Each float had its own brass band and music was played throughout the procession –
There were lots of different coloured robes and I didn’t know whether this signified a different rank in the church or maybe a diffrent community, as people came from far and wide.
One thing i did like about it was their idea of waste mangement. A garbage truck followed right behind with a few guys with shovels and cleaned up any mess ! I mean everything was gone, you wouldn’t have known anything had happened. There was also a JCB following the garbage truck, maybe to scoop up any exhausted float bearers ?
One thing that caught my eye were some people who were making a carpet out of flowers and grass in the road. Apparantly this is something that local peolpe do and as it gets nearer Easter the streets have a carpet of flowers over them.
The carpet was finished just in time for the procession to turn up and walk straight over it. But this is what happens, they get finished, they get trodden on, and then they get swept up by the garbage truck minutes later ! I would say it must be quite a bit of expensive for a family or business to do this so it must mean a lot to them to take part in it all.