Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/117

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CHAPTER V.

Religious Processions, -Masked Dancers, -Clergy, regular and secular, -Ecclesiastical Quarrels, -Low State of true Piety, -Extracts from Journal.


Under the head of amusements, rather than devotional exercises, ought to be classed those numerous and splendid processions which claim so frequently the time and reverence of all classes of the community in catholic countries. In Guatimala scarcely a day passes without some one or other of these pageants inviting the attention of the devout, and the laugh of the scorner. A slight account of the celebrated one termed Corpus will enable the reader to judge of the rest.

This takes place in the month of June; and on the day set apart for the festivity, the shops are closed, and business suspended. About ten o'clock the cavalcade moves from the cathedral. A troop of military marching to a slow tune lead the way, and are followed by six of the finest Indian girls that can be procured, bearing large wax candles, and dressed in the ancient costume