Lenten Friday in Coban

Day 9

By now its likely not a surprise to you that one of our favorite travel experiences is to see local festivities or celebrations. Today as we returned to Coban following a day in Semuc Champay, the traffic was very congested and then we realized it was being re-routed.  For Lenten Friday, which we may think of as a minor event, there was a huge procession (or maybe several) and the traffic was at a standstill all over town.

I’m not sure of the exact purpose or origin of this procession however it appeared to be a version of the “Stations of the Cross”. There were two very ornate platforms or floats being carried by about 20 women or girls. The first had Jesus carrying and falling with the cross and the second held the Virgin Mary. Hundreds of men, women and children marched, some carring lit candles while thousands looked on. There was very somber music blasting from speakers.

The procession wove through the city streets and stopped at each church only Catholic, I think) where there was a prayer service, more somber music, clouds of incense but no singing. In addition, some homes placed an altar or pictures of Jesus on their front steps.

If you have more information about this custom, please leave a comment.