Fiesta time in Antigua Guatemala!
Celebrating each town’s patron’s saint day in Guatemala is some of the best fun ever! This month Antigua is celebrating its cultural fair for St. James Day as the city was founded as Santiago de Guatemala in 1543 – later called Antigua Guatemala when the capital moved to Guatemala City in 1774. With an entire month of fiestas including folkloric dances, marathons, school parades, Señorita Antigua, artisans’ and artists’ exhibits and concerts, the list continues as everyone in town celebrates with fun!
The highlights include the “Baile de Gigantes” in the Central Park on Tuesday, July 24th at 3pm when the fireworks begins! The photo is a “torito” (fireworks bull) that dances around the Park launching fireworks into the crowd as everyone scurries around followed by music and more fiesta! Wednesday, July 25th, is a holiday in all cities names after Santiago. Antigua starts with the 4am fireworks called “bombas” and the marimba concert at Cerro de la Cruz traditionally announcing the big day. Mass at 7am at the Cathedral is followed by the huge school parade and at 3pm the St. James Procession around town and, of course, the musical festival in the park beginning at 7pm!
These traditions have only gotten bigger and better or the centuries when the Spanish descendants formed towns in Guatemala in the 1540s. The Maya lived in a dispersed manner throughout ancient Mesoamerica before then when it was agreed by the Church and the Crown to form towns each with a saint’s name. Fiestas were essential in bringing the Mayas into church as we go from fiesta to fiesta.
Check our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/antiguatours/ as we will be posting all the fun!