All Saints day celebration Guatemala

Guatemala, Nov 2016

In Guatemala, the All Saints Day is a celebration of death, but it is not a sad celebration. On the contrary, it is a day of fun and entertainment dedicated to the memory of the people who left. In the cemeteries the relatives of the deceased paint the tombs with bright colors and a variety of flowers. Family members spend the day at the cemetery and enjoy a traditional meal called Fiambre. Children and adults build kites with their hands and then take them to the cemetery to fly in the air. History tells that kites were originally used to send messages to heaven so that the souls of the dead family could read them. The city of Sumpango in Sacatepéquez is famous for this day because there is the Festival of giant kites. Organized groups of families or friends gather in the soccer field to create these colossal kites up to 5 meters tall with drawings that have planned months back and invest a lot of money; one of these kites can cost up to Q.60, 000 (sixty thousand quetzales) about $ 9,000,

In Antigua there is a procession in which groups of almost 100 men and 100 women wearing white or black hoods hold up an heavy wooden catafalque with statues of Christ on the cross above them.