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An Observance in Ritual. Outstanding Images of Holy Week Processions in the Picfair Collection

Themed Collections

07 February 2018

Posted by Philip Mowbray

For one week each year, the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, are filled with the smell of incense, the sound of drums, and hundreds-of-thousands of pilgrims that line the former colonial capital’s atmospheric cobbles.

This is Semana Santa, or Holy Week, which is a series of observances and parades in the run-up to Easter, celebrated not just in Guatemala, but across the entire Roman Catholic world. Holy Week festivities are famed for their elaborate, noisy, dramatic and drawn-out parades, and the capirotes (long hoods) worn by marching participants.  It is widely regarded that Antigua's procession leads the way in terms of lavishness, but in small and large pious communities across the world, and in almost every town in Spain, similar observances take place, each with their own unique distinctions.

As always at Picfair, we have our buyers in the forefront of our minds, and we like to keep ahead of the game when it comes to showcasing incredible content. Not only have our photographers provided us with stunning shots of the processions in Antigua, but we also have a wealth of exceptional imagery from a multitude of other Holy Week festivities across the world; ideal for Easter features and campaigns for the months ahead.  So why not take a look at our showcase of some of the best in the collection?

Further reading:

Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Young boy wearing a black robe spreading incense in a street of the city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Young boy wearing a black robe spreading incense in a street of the city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala Read less

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Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Penitents in an Easter procession during the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Penitents in an Easter procession during the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala Read less

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Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Silhouette of men wearing black robes and hoods spreading incense in a street of the city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in... Read more

Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: Silhouette of men wearing black robes and hoods spreading incense in a street of the city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala Read less

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Incense burns during the Holy Week processions in Antigua, Guatemala

Incense burns during the Holy Week processions in Antigua, Guatemala Read less

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Daniele

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Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: People wearing black robes in a street of the old city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala - April 19, 2014: People wearing black robes in a street of the old city of Antigua during a procession of the Holy Week in Antigua, Guatemala Read less

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Procession of the Mysteries (Processione dei Misteri viventi), Holy Thursday, Marsala, Sicily, Italy, Europe

Procession of the Mysteries (Processione dei Misteri viventi), Holy Thursday, Marsala, Sicily, Italy, Europe Read less

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robertharding

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A young bearded man with blood on his head and wearing a crown of thorns, dressed as Jesus Christ , carries a large wooden cross through a village during a ceremony that imitate... Read more

A young bearded man with blood on his head and wearing a crown of thorns, dressed as Jesus Christ , carries a large wooden cross through a village during a ceremony that imitates the crucification of Jesus Christ. In Semana Santa (Easter), in Mexico. Read less

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Gareth Davies

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Penitents carrying float with Jesus Christ, Procession, Holy week, Semana Santa, Malaga ,Andalusia, Spain.

Penitents carrying float with Jesus Christ, Procession, Holy week, Semana Santa, Malaga ,Andalusia, Spain. Read less

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Perry van Munster

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Good Friday procession in Andalusian white village of Mijas, Malaga Province.

Good Friday procession in Andalusian white village of Mijas, Malaga Province. Read less

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Hooded Penitent walking in Procession, Holy week, Semana Santa, Malaga, Andalusia, Spain.

Hooded Penitent walking in Procession, Holy week, Semana Santa, Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. Read less

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Perry van Munster

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Penitents carrying a float during Holy Week in Malaga, Spain 2016

Penitents carrying a float during Holy Week in Malaga, Spain 2016 Read less

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Anthony Robling

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Easter procession Semana Santa, Vegueta old town, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, Europe

Easter procession Semana Santa, Vegueta old town, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, Europe Read less

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robertharding

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La Veronica, Procession of the Mysteries (Processione dei Misteri viventi), Holy Thursday, Marsala, Sicily, Italy, Europe

La Veronica, Procession of the Mysteries (Processione dei Misteri viventi), Holy Thursday, Marsala, Sicily, Italy, Europe Read less

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robertharding

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Italy, Sorrento, typical procession at Easter.

Italy, Sorrento, typical procession at Easter. Read less

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Giuseppe Maresca

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POPAYAN, COLOMBIA - APRIL 5: A statue of Jesus is carried through the streets of Popayan, Colombia during an Easter celebration on April 5, 2012

POPAYAN, COLOMBIA - APRIL 5: A statue of Jesus is carried through the streets of Popayan, Colombia during an Easter celebration on April 5, 2012 Read less

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Jess Kraft

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April 2010, Seville, Spain. Holy Friday procession in Easter festivity

April 2010, Seville, Spain. Holy Friday procession in Easter festivity Read less

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Massimo Lama

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Members of the Candelaria brotherhood at night during Santa Semama, Seville, Seville Province, Andalusia, Spain, Western Europe.

Members of the Candelaria brotherhood at night during Santa Semama, Seville, Seville Province, Andalusia, Spain, Western Europe. Read less

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Caron Badkin

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Penitents during Semana Santa (Holy Week), Aracena, Huelva, Andalucia, Spain, Europe

Penitents during Semana Santa (Holy Week), Aracena, Huelva, Andalucia, Spain, Europe Read less

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robertharding

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