San Antonio PolopĆ³

                          Holidays and Celebrations in San Antonio Palopo



     San Antonio Palopo celebrates many unique holidays. The most commonly known are

                     Holy WeekSan Antonio's Annual FestivalChristmasDevil Burning and Day of the Dead.

                                                            Christmas in San Antonio Palopo.

As December begins music on the radio starts playing Christmas music and the locals start decorating their houses for Christmas. Women will bustle about buying things such as live chickens, tomatoes and extra maize. The men who own local stores ( Tiendas ) will travel to Guatemala city to purchase items to be sold in the locally. Items such as toys, clothes, christmas lights, fireworks and other such goods will be of abundance in San Antonio. 

Christmas for the children is known as a time for (bombas) which means fireworks. All throughout the month of December there is rarely a quiet moment, children, young adults and adults all indulge in pyrotechnics. All throughout the morning, day, evening and at night loud fireworks are heard often. Smaller children will play with ( chentepes ) which is a type of pyrotechnic that simply shoots small sparks into the air. These are relatively save for the youngsters. At the age of 10 and above the young adults will throw small fire crackers into the street all day and night. Fire crackers are great fun for the children, but clearly an annoyance for the elders and parents of sleeping babies.

Christmas in Guatemala is Celebrated on the night of the 24th. At midnight large fireworks can be seen in San Antonio Palopo and throughout all the shore side towns on Lake Atitlan. These fireworks can be seen from many miles away.

Fireworks, san antonio palopo
Christmas tree, San Antonio Palopo,

The tradition in San Antonio Palopo is for family, friends and neighbors to give each other Tamales and Chochitos. Tamales and Chochitos are considered the Christmas food. In December on the 23rd most of the women will wake up at 4:00 am and work together to make hundreds of Chochitos and Tamales.  

Live music can be heard on many nights in December playing traditional Christmas songs. Sometimes the bands are local and other times more well-known bands from Guatemala are hired to play live music.

The the town's central the locals are busy decorating the Catholic church with lights and other decorations. Most popular is the Christmas tree which gets erected in front of the church. The tree is made from carefully placed re-bar and wire framing, its base is weighted down with cement, it is then wrapped in synthetic pine leafy wrap. This creates a perfectly shaped tree which often reaches 20' tall. The tree is then decorated with lights and can be seen from Lake Atitlan on a boat several miles away. 

It is common for local small tiendas (stores) to give away plastic canisters to all of it's loyal customers and family members. Gifts of bread are also given to family members and friends. Often its Pan Dulce ( Sweet Bread ) which is devoured with watered down coffee or caliente. The word caliente in spanish means hot but during Christmas in San Antonio Caliente is a type of drink. It is made with Jocotes ( A local fruit ), pineapple, melon and other such fruits mixed with water and alcohol.  This drink is heated to a boil then set to cool off enough to drink, they will then give large glasses of this delicious concoction to family, friends, neighbors and even children. This also helps the children calm down after eating too much Christmas candy.

tamales christmas san antonio Palopo
fireworks christmas

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