The streets of the centre of Ponteareas awaken on the Sunday of Corpus Christi covered with spectacular carpets of flowers, over which the procession of the Holy Sacrament will pass. The tradition, which dates back more than 150 years, has survived thanks to the perseverance of local residents, who work to prepare them the night before. Although some are figurative, the majority of the designs are geometric drawings. In all cases, their size and colourfulness are sure to amaze. The meaning of the carpets, which usually number more than one dozen, is deeply religious: they are created as offerings to the Holy Sacrament.
Many visitors come out the night before to watch them being made. A wide variety of plants are used, including hydrangeas, myrtle, sensitive plant, fennel, roses and more. The work is a true demonstration of people's desire to participate, with both young and old doing their part, all striving to finish before nine in the morning on Sunday.
During the solemn procession – municipal authorities at the head, followed by women adorned with a white mantilla, a marching band, boys and girls who have just taken their First Communion and others – the monstrance stops in front of various altars and is bathed in a shower of petals thrown from the balconies, an extravagantly colourful display that deeply moves the audience watching from the pavements. When the event is over, the beauty and artistic value of the carpets fades, with the only remaining proof being the photographs compulsively snapped by thousands of spectators.
The making of the carpets on the eve of the procession, involving hundreds of local volunteers.