Monday, April 6, 2009

Alfombras de Flores (Flower Carpets)

On Sunday morning (April 5), Scott got up early and went outside to take a picture of the Plaza de Armas (central square) where our hotel was located. He was surprised to find the main street of town being filled with "carpets of flowers" as part of Semana Santa (Holy Week) leading up to Easter. Here's a picture of the cathedral, people milling around, and other people creating flower carpets:

Why are they making carpets of flowers? Probably for the same reason that we make parade floats out of roses in the U.S. Many of the flower carpets have a religious theme, as does this one below:

But others have a business theme or an ecology theme, like this one:

The colors from the flower rugs are made up completely of leaves and flower petals, as this close-up shows.

The carpets of flowers probably covered 10 blocks of the main street and no traffic was allowed on the main street. By the time we came back from church three hours later, the carpets of flowers were no longer there and traffic was back to normal:

Many of the carpets of flowers had a picture of the Savior in the middle of them:

Vendors were selling their wares on the sidewalks all along the main street. Scott paid this woman 5 soles ($2.70) for a pair of colorful, handmade, wool gloves, with the condition that she let him take a picture. She was happy to get the 5 soles and to have her picture taken:

These two women were selling flower petals:

The most famous "alfombras de flores" are made in our town of Tarma. We'll find out on Thursday whether the carpets of flowers are better in Tarma than the ones we saw in Huancavelica.


Whitney said...

For Semana Santa do they do a re-enactment of the Crucifiction (at least have someone going through the streets with a cross on their back)? I can't remember if this was a Peruvian tradition as well, but the Latinos in the Northern Virginia area would always tell us about Semana Santa and the traditions in their countries. Anyway, I'm sure if they do this there (which would probably be on Thursday or Friday) you will report on it.

I LOVE reading of your experiences. What a blessing you two are to Peru and the strengthening of the church leadership there!

Andrea said...

I am excited to see pictures from the flower carpets in Tarma. These are amazing!

Sharon said...

These are absolutely amazing! You share the coolest stuff!

I often think how sad if would have been if you had been sent "somewhere" else instead of Peru:-0