Independence Day: Patriotic Fire Marathon

Patriotic Fire Marathon

So, what kind activities are done in Guatemala to celebrate Independence Day?

Most people in Guatemala often say that Guatemalans are not very “patriotic” and immediately mention how patriotic the Mexicans really are: “that’s really patriotism!” Having said that, you can begin to see the first glances of Independence Day activities back in July, or earlier, with student bands practices (#1). Of course, there is plenty of Independence Day bunting everywhere since the first days of September and a lot of street vendors selling flags in all shades of blue, even though only one blue is the official (#2). One week before September 15, there are student parades from pre-primary to high school on the streets of every town in the country (#3). Don’t forget the marathons with their patriotic torches(#4). In every school, government building and town’s main plaza there are Pledges of Alliance to the Flag, although here we call it Juramiento a la bandera, and the singing of Guatemala’s National Anthem recitals; check out last year’s Libre al viento tu hermosa bandera to read Guatemala’s National Anthem in English (#5). In some towns, there are enactments of the Signing of Independence Act (#6). On September 15th, at 6 p.m. all over main squares and central parks of Guatemala there is a civic act known as La arriada de la bandera, Haul down of the flag (#7). There are, of course, speeches remembering the signing of the Independence Act and how many years has been thus far (188) since 1821 (#8). Last but not least, the burning of firecracker bombs, firecrackers and fireworks, which may include Torito firecracker burnings (#9). I am certain that I am forgetting something. Please, feel free to tell me what I missed in the comments.

That’s what Guatemalans, who are not very “patriotic”, do to celebrate their Independence Day. So, do you still consider Guatemalans as unpatriotic?

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Darrin Brown

    Sounds like a festive event, what about food any special food today?

    • @Darrin, I believe Jenn Klee answered your question in the next comment.

  • Yeah, you forgot about the food Rudy 😉

    The schools -private ones- I’ve worked on usually have a mercadito where the kids work as the vendors; we had one last Friday, with chuchitos, tacos, tostadas, rellenitos, mole, panes con chile relleno, atol de elote, and candies. I was so thrilled when I found a bag of “agüitas”, remember those bottle shaped candies filled with honey, they were as good as I remember.

    • @Jenn, I knew I was forgetting something VERY IMPORTANT. Thanks for filling in. 😉

  • Erick

    I’ve never realized that some thought of Guatemalans as being “unpatriotic”, but I think it’s all subjective. Americans and Mexicans are known for being very “patriotic”, but I guess it comes down to what is your meaning of “patriotism”. I don’t think Americans or Mexicans love their county any more than Guatemalans love theirs, so perhaps it has to do with perception.

    Growing up in Guate, I remember that we had to march for 15 de Septiembre. We barely had classes those two weeks prior to Independence Day because we had to constantly practice. It was pretty tiring actually, but it was also fun.

    • @Erick, actually I never heard anybody, except Guatemalans, talk about the lo poco patriotas that Guatemalans are. Perhaps, it is all perception as you mentioned. 😉

  • Well, I think that sometimes it is due to how patriotism is taught here… I remember the “Lunes Cívicos” when I was in elementary school. It was the most boring day of the week for everyone… Some learned to hate and despise all of this, but then we forget that such days in primary school were just one of many other days in our Country. I don’t recall many people talking about Guatemala in many good ways. But then, you meet more and more people from different areas, and when you realize that Guatemala is way far beyond just all the bad things news talk about. When a Guatemalan family, even in the most remote of areas, gets you to share a meal, you are almost adopted… When there are more meals shared, you’ve become a part of their family. We forget what unites us, it is the sharing.

    In the end, few things are bad in this Country full of ironies and contradictions, but a true Guatemalan is just a beautiful human being. And, now, combine our people, with the most diverse landscapes in Latin America, and you’ll find yourself in a stunning paradise… We are just not perfect, ;O)

  • @Arturo, thanks so much for this heart-felt comment. On your last sentence about “we’re not perfect” you are just talking about yourself, right? 😉

  • Pingback: ¿Patriotismo en el Día de la Independencia? | Rudy Girón()

  • @RudyGirón 😉 Thank you very much, but yes, I guess I am just talking about myself, 😉