New Year’s Celebration in Guatemala is very similar to Christmas Eve. People stay up all night to receive the new year, but unlike Christmas which is a family-centered celebration, people are free to receive the New Year anywhere. Some people go to the beach and many more come to Antigua to celebrate the birth of the new year with a countdown and fireworks at Calle del Arco, Antigua’s most popular pedestrian strip. I am sorry for not bringing a photo of the countdown and fireworks show. It’s been several years since we decided not to go to Calle del Arco for the countdown because it is nightmare to try to get in and out of the place. Calle del Arco fills to ten or twenty times more people than at the Burning of the Devil celebration (click to look the crowds).
Fireworks and firecrackers are burnt everywhere, among a zillion other such pyrotechnic inventions. If you are a pyromaniac, Antigua is your town for Christmas and New Years celebrations. There are so many pyrotechnic things being sold that there is something for everyone. I will try to list some of the most popular and my poor translation of what their name means in English: Cohetes (firecrackers), metralladoras (machine-gun or a series of firecrackers), estrellitas (little stars, this are popular with the kids; today’s photo is from estrellitas), canchinflines (these are whistle fireworks that fly and make scary sound as they approach you), juegos pirotecnicos (fireworks, these are what people most people know as light shows), and a long et-cetera. To get an idea of the stuff available, please take a look at the enlarge photo for December 24th (click to view the enlarged version). All these pyrotechnic stuff can be burnt anywhere; there are no regulations against it.
Statistical Side Note: I want to thank all the visitors to the Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo, who made possible 256 entries, and even more photos (thanks to the slides shows), through their comments, feedback, and donations. There are now 1477 comments for those 256 entries and over 250 emails with feedback or requests. There were 7 donations towards the hosting bills. Many thanks to Annie Lane for her donation today which sets the tone for the new year. Annie, please, send me your mailing address thought the Contact the Author form so I can send you a couple of post cards made from the photos available in this site. My best wishes to all of you for the 2007.
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