Giant Kites of Santiago Sacatepéquez

Giant Kites of Santiago Sacatepéquez

Here’s another quote taken from the article written by Ignacio Ochoa and published in Revue Magazine about the history of kite making in Santiago Sacatepéquez under the name of Messenges in the Wind.

At 4 a.m. on November 2, everyone moves toward the cemetery with candles so the spirits can return to their celestial home. The townspeople raise the giant kites one final time to guide the spirits back to heaven. Later that evening, the kites that were torn by the winds are burned inside the cemetery, the smoke showing the way back to heaven for any vagabond spirits. The surviving kites are exhibited in the local Catholic Church during a novena for the deceased, after that they are burned, and the ashes are buried in the cemetery, completing the annual ritual for the Day of the Dead in Santiago Sacatepéquez. (continue reading… )

Giant Kites Flying over the Cemetery

Hello, hello is there anybody out there? Are there any comments or feedback regarding the giants kites?

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • JT

    These past 2 days have had especially great stories and pics! Sorry I am missing the festival, I won’t be down there till the 16th.

  • emromesco

    When you are flying kites no-one hears you scream. Thanks for the colourful pics, cemeteries are such cool places around the world. That should be one of the monthly topics on the daily photo team, or has it been already?

  • MaggieD

    We’re here! …very much enjoying this series and plan to schedule at least one of my trips next year around this festival. What a beautiful custom. While in school the last time my teacher’s mother died and she included me in the activities following a death. I’ve been following “her” kite in spirit these past days. Thank you for this rich insight into your culture.

  • Don B.

    My wife and I saw the kites in Santiago last year. Very nice. There was a big procession through town last night. Did you take pictures?

  • Raquel

    Que hermosa!
    Rudy these are gorgeous! There must be so much love and work put into each kite. They’re amazing. and I love the idea of having bright colors and festive spirits in a graveyard. Here in Canada they’re such somber places and Oct. 31 is such a dark holiday. THis is a refreshing site! 🙂

  • Beautiful shots — my fav is the one of the cemetery.

  • JM

    Beautiful kites! So very eye-catching!

  • wow, they’re huge! I love the idea behind making and flying them. I agree with Raquel, it’s beautiful to have a day to remember the dead in such a festive way. I’m a little jealous, too, of traditions such as this that require so much effort and preparation. Everything here is pre-packaged and marketed so as to be easy. To spend days (weeks maybe!) preparing the kites, the flowers, and the food for Día de los Muertes must truly be a labor of love, and a bonding experience for families and the community.
    I’m curious about that graveyard, though. Why is it all bare earth, with no grass or plants?
    Great pictures, Rudy!!

  • I agree with the others who have commented on the beauty and spectacle of these unusual large circular kites. Much of my website is about kites and kite flying from countries around the world. Looking hard at the pics, it was hard to pick much detail about what type of materials were used, and construction methods – but it was a fascinating glimpse into another kiting culture anyway! From the smaller picture showing a kite in flight, it appears they fly tail-less too. I am particularly fond of kites that fly without tails – in the smaller sizes, there’s a bit of an art to making that happen…

  • MO

    Janna, great question about the ground on the graveyard not having grass or plants. I am also curious to know why.

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