Day of the Dead... Kites and Colours.

Santiago Sacatepequez Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 21 › view all entries
Looking out over the graveyard.

After the Copan ruines we made our way back in to Guatemala to Antigua, as we were keen to attend the festival for Day of the Dead - held over the 1st and 2nd November.  The festival is a celebration for all those who have passed on, to help celebrate their lives and help the passage of the spirits to the skies.  Essentially they raise giant kites to the skies to guide the spirits back to heaven.  Apparently those giant kites that end up torn by the wind are burned in the evening to guide the vagabond spirits to the skies.

We did a day trip out to the town of Santiago Sacatepequez, which is known for putting on a great show in terms of the kites and festivities.

A family having a picnic on a grave.
 

Our tour was a bit disorganised and it took ages to get everyone in the various buses.  Despite us being ready for 10am we only left an hour later, getting to the town in time for lunch.  We walked along the packed streets lined with stalls of all descriptions and people as far as the eye could see. We slowly made our way to the cemetry and when we got there people were walking everywhere - over graves and around.  Families were having picnics on graves of loved ones.  Kids were flying little kites all over the show and several large kites had already been erected - with two more going up while we wondered around.  The atmosphere was really festive with people cheering as kites went up, there were food sellers everwhere... from ice-cream to pizza.

Walking through the crowds.

We walked around for about an hour before deciding to head back down to the tour pick up point.  It was such a nightmare getting back down the main street, with a wall of people barely moving as people pushed and shoved in every direction.  Essentially a massive bottle neck had been created... you had people heading down the road covering about two thirds of the width and then you had people coming up the road covering about two thirds... only to meet in the middle and realise that two thirds and two thirds does not make a whole.

After much pushing and shoving, having heads in your back, elbows in your face, childrenĀ“s feet in your ears - as they were being lifted on fatherĀ“s shoulders and witnessing mothers breast feeding in the crowd, we finally made it out of the throng and waited on the side for the others to appear.  Al was the first out and told us how he had witnessed an old lady beat up a kid who had tried to pick her pockets.  Apparently the old lady grabbed him by the nose... i.e. her fingers up his nose and then proceeded to hit him about the head.  Al said people had to pull her off him... that boy must have been hugely embarassed to be beat up by a granny.

Slowly we made our way to the pick up point eating street food along the way.  I had some sweet corn bread thing... very tasty.

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Looking out over the graveyard.
Looking out over the graveyard.
A family having a picnic on a grav…
A family having a picnic on a gra…
Walking through the crowds.
Walking through the crowds.
Waiting for our bus to the Day of …
Waiting for our bus to the Day of…
Looking out the bus window.
Looking out the bus window.
A kite seller on the side of the r…
A kite seller on the side of the …
Looking back over the crowds.
Looking back over the crowds.
Me and my first big kite.
Me and my first big kite.
Close up of the design and images.
Close up of the design and images.
Close up of the design and images.
Close up of the design and images.
Looking out over the graveyard at …
Looking out over the graveyard at…
Looking out over the graveyard at …
Looking out over the graveyard at…
Me at the Day of the Dead Festival.
Me at the Day of the Dead Festival.
Maree and Me at the Day of the Dea…
Maree and Me at the Day of the De…
One of the massive kites.
One of the massive kites.
The graves all had really colourfu…
The graves all had really colourf…
A family sitting on a grave... thi…
A family sitting on a grave... th…
Another grave, much simpler with s…
Another grave, much simpler with …
Me infront of one of the massive k…
Me infront of one of the massive …
A close up of one the large kites …
A close up of one the large kites…
One of the kites not yet raised.
One of the kites not yet raised.
David, Jules and Al at Day of the …
David, Jules and Al at Day of the…
The Day of the Dead Festival.
The Day of the Dead Festival.
Close up of one of the kites centr…
Close up of one of the kites cent…
Ice cream being sold at the festiv…
Ice cream being sold at the festi…
Another family having a picnic.
Another family having a picnic.
More food and picnics
More food and picnics
Some of the large kites.
Some of the large kites.
The Day of the Dead Festival.
The Day of the Dead Festival.
One of the large kites.
One of the large kites.
Close up of one of the wind torn k…
Close up of one of the wind torn …
A couple of the large kites.
A couple of the large kites.
Me being silly at the festival... …
Me being silly at the festival...…
Santiago Sacatepequez
photo by: SaffaAussie