It was la Semana Santa (the Holy Week) after all, so we thought we might see a religious celebration. For this we traveled to Leon.
We asked the man running the hostel about this and he told us that everyone generally goes on vacation to the beach during Holy Week. He also told us about the religious processions being held in Leon that night.
It took us a while to find the processions, but we found them. There were times where we followed the procession and where we jumped ahead of it to see it pass. I tell you, it was much easier to walk in front of it than behind it, on account of all of the people.
One of our friends had told us he wanted to see the alfombras (carpets) of sawdust they had there. I wasn't sure what they were, or what they would be like, but once we got there it all made sense.
The alfombras are literally translated as "carpets". They are made by layering different colors of dyed sawdust in order to create a religious scene.
The alfombras line the streets, and as the night goes on, a religious procession passes over them.
Soon after dusk, the seemingly deserted city had turned into a crowded city full of people buying and selling food, finishing alfombras, participating in the procession, and watching the procession.
Also, the procession was surprisingly quiet in spite of all of the people that were there. There was a somber atmosphere among the crowd. There was also a band that played slow sad music as the procession led on.
After seeing the procession we walked around for a bit, and then made our way back to the hostel for the night.
The Next Morning's Travels
The best part about the next morning, Saturday morning, was the morning market in Leon. Near the bus station to Managua we were able to see all different types of products for sale.
After finding our way through the markets to the bus station, we boarded the express to Managua and took it home. But we still had more plans for the week...