Flowers: a major part of everyday life in Guatemala
Hidden away, in the maze of stalls that comprises the local market in Antigua, is a florist’s dream. Roses of every color, floral bouquets and artful creations woven from dried flowers dominate the central passages. Wizened women snip the stems, the younger girls prepare the arrangements and whatever the reason or the season, it’s always time for flowers to go. Be it a wedding, a funeral, a special occasion or just everyday color for the home, Guatemalans love their flowers.
There’s a few differences in the symbolism of the colors but not much. Deep red is associated with intense passion and love. The lighter shades of pink are signs of a lesser feeling but still indicative of attraction. Yellow? Some say it means friendship and others associate it with death. The white flowers definitely mean friendship but people’s choice and constant passion is purple: magenta, amaranthine or bougainvillea, lilac or any flower of that shade.
The walls of Antigua are draped with the purple vines and the buntings that are hung from the windows for the latest religious procession are deep amethyst in hue. The jacaranda trees in the main plaza rain a daily drizzle of purple blossoms. The gowned and hooded acolytes who carry the multi-ton barges through the streets are a band of brothers in purple. It’s a Guatemala thing.