San Antonio PolopĆ³

                          Holidays and Celebrations in San Antonio Palopo

                                                              Day of the Dead

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

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

                                                                       Day of the Dead. ( Dia de los Muertos )

In Guatemala on the 30th of October San Antonio Celebrates the Day of the Dead. This is a day where the Maya celebrate their dead ancestors. This day is celebrated by flying kites and in San Antonio during the day thousands of kites can be seen being flown high above the town. Kites vary in size and shape, they can range from simply plastic bags tied to string for the children, to large well decorated handmade kites which dominate the sky. These kites sometimes have air battles, the locals get tangled with each others kites and sometimes this is done on purpose or by accident. When a kite gets taken out of the sky, the children will run off to go find the kite. Neighbors also help retrieve kites and so they are rarely lost but often damaged. The old tradition of flying kites for the Maya of San Antonio was because on the Day of the Dead, it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors are roaming the town and the kites are a way to safely capture the spirits and prevent being haunted. On the Day of the Dead, babies are not to be left unattended. Many of the locals believe that if a baby is left alone it is possible for one of these spirits to enter the babies defenseless bodies. ( I remember being told that one day while a woman put her child to rest for a nap for several hours, she come back to a dead baby. The baby died of the Day of the Dead. And so the legend lives on that the spirits roam the village during the Dia de los Muertos!

maya cemetary lake atitlan
day of the dead, kites, guatemala

On the Day of the Dead the locals will walk to the cemetery  carrying flowers, booze, cigars and incense and other goods to leave for the dead ancestor. 

The cemetery is full of people on this day, now there will often be live bands playing music and a bar for those who want to drink. ( which is the majority of the men ) The women sadly are often the ones who have to help the staggering drunk male return to his home. 

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