The Kites of Guatemala a Connection to the Hereafter

During the last days of October strong winds start to blow in Guatemala, and that can only mean two things, one, it is the end of the rainy season, and two, it is time to fly kites.

The Kites of Guatemala

photo by David Dean

Kids are officially out of school, and they run to buy colorful kites from vendors in neighborhood shops, at the markets and town plazas.

But beyond the fun that kites bring to children, Guatemalan Kites have a deeper religious and cultural meaning. On “Día de Muertos” (Nov. 1-Nov. 2) Guatemalans believe that the souls of their ancestors have permission to come and visit loved ones, and kites become the communication channel between the world of the living and the world of the departed.
It is believed that the larger and more colorful a kite is aids even stronger communications with the departed. This is why people put a lot of effort into every kite they make. All the family works together, and creativity, skills, techniques emerge.

The Kites of Guatemala

photo by Carlos Villegas

Townspeople in Santiago and Sumpango Sacatepéquez, are true artistical examples. They organize Giant Kites Festivals that take place on November 1 & 2. Both residents and tourists from the world over come to admire this colorful and sacred tradition. These festivals are so important, that were declared National Cultural Heritage by President Óscar Berger Perdomo on October 30, 1998.

The Kites of Guatemala

photoby David Currier

Festivals take place from 7am to 6pm, on November 1 and 2. If you are interested in attending, we recommend getting there as early as possible, there will be, music, typical food, kites contest, and more.

The Kites of Guatemala

photo by Tono Valdés

Parking places are available, but the spaces fill up fast. Be prepared to find traffic on the way to these towns.

It is a Guatemalan tradition you won’t want to miss.

The Kites of Guatemala

photo by Roberto Cantón

 

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