Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kite Festival on All Souls Day

Here in Guatemala they hold a very popular and rather famous kite or barrilete festival.  

Every year on November 1st they celebrate the day of the dead with these ginormous tissue paper wonders.

The streets are full of stands with people selling food and gifts.

The first festival we went to was in Santiago, in their cemetery.

Hundreds of people sat on flower bedecked graves to watch the building-high kites lift off the ground and rock tenuously on wooden poles.

Smaller kites were released and flew above our heads while vendors walked around the tombs, selling cotton candy, slices of cake and other goodies.

Not gonna lie, at first it was weird to be attending a party in a graveyard.  But after a while, it was just cool.

The kites in Santiago were covered with bright colors, Catholic saints and quotes.

The kites themselves take months to put together and are made by local youth groups (I think!).

As you can see it wasn't a spectacularly sunny day but we managed to avoid the rain and the wind itself was excellent for a kite festival!

After Santiago, we headed to Sumpongo which is more well known internationally for its kites.  The graveyard there is also bedecked in flowers but the kites themselves are flown from a nearby field and there are many more vendors and, alas, pickpockets.

The kites themselves remind one of souls going towards heaven on All Souls Day.  I guess it is good to remember that all of us, those present to witness and those who have gone before, have an immortal soul to care for and entrust to God.  Another beautiful experience in Guatemala!

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