November 1 is one of the most important dates in Guatemala. On November 1 Guatemalans go to the cemeteries to remember and honor their dead. Interesting enough by going to the cemeteries to engage with the departed ones, Guatemalans forge stronger relationships with the living ones and transmit the importance of remembering and honouring their dead.
In Guatemala we celebrate our dead on November 1 and 2 with food such as fiambre, sweets such as dulces de cabecera or header candies which are mostly fruits and vegetables boiled into a brown sugar syrup. Some of these sweets for these dates include ayote en dulce, chilacayote en miel, higos, et cetera. Kites and giant kites and flying them over the cemeteries are also part of the traditions.
If you’re not in Guatemala now, but would like to have some Guatemalan comfort foods, please pay a visit to AntiguaFC.com where Amanda can prepare a sweet combo and ship it to your home or office.
We are so very lucky to have the photographs taken by Nelo Mijangos and Geovin Morales in the cemetery today which give us an amazing overview of Día de Todos Los Santos (All Saints Day) and how Guatemalans also spent time with the family at the cemetery remembering their dead.
Those of you, who have followed the daily updates of La Antigua Guatemala Daily Photo for a while, would know already how much I like to name certain entries with titles of films. If you look in the past 930 days, you would find the titles of some of my favorite films. Can you name some of the film titles I have borrow in the past?
Today, I was tempted to call the entry The Dark Knight, but I decided that The Kite Runner was a better fit. For those who have not seen The Kite Runner film yet, please do yourself a favor and get online right away and order it for your next netflix/blockbuster delivery. You will not regret it. Besides, watching the film The Kite Runner is much faster than actually reading the book (although, not as rewarding).
Answers to the questions in previous comments:
Cemeteries should be one of the monthly topics on the daily photo team, or has it been already?
No, I don’t think cemeteries has been a theme day. Thanks for suggesting it Manolo, I have already passed your request to the proper authorities .
There was a big procession through town [La Antigua] last night. Did you take pictures?
No, I did not take any pictures of it. We did see it from two blocks away though. Because of this procession, it took us the same amount of time to cross La Antigua Guatemala as it did to drive from Santiago Sacatepéquez to La Antigua. Go figure.
I’m curious about that graveyard, though. Why is it all bare earth, with no grass or plants?
Disparity and inequity follow Guatemalans to their resting grounds. The bare ground graves belong to the poor.
Looking hard at the pictures, it was hard to pick much detail about what type of materials were used, and construction methods?
All kite materials are natural. The glue is made from yucca flour mixed with pieces of lemon peel and water. Ropes used for kite strings are made from maguey, the plant from which tequila is extracted. Kite tails are made from woven cloth (to which people often attach hand-written messages to guide the spirits in their journey from heaven to earth). Woven stalks of castilla, a plant similar to wheat, form the frames of smaller kites, while the largest frames are made from the bamboo gathered on the coast.
Below, I decided to share with you, my dear visitors and commenters, other photos and a video clip as way to expand on the answers and to get a better idea about the celebrations around the Day of the Dead in Guatemala. Perhaps next year we will decide to take a trip to Todos los Santos Cuchumatán to learn about another way of celebrating the Día de todos los Santos (All Saints Day); please reserve your seats ahead of time, especially MO since the road this town would really make car-sick.
As always, click on the thumbnails to load a larger photograph:
Below a short video clip of some young Santiagueros running around to pull the Giant kite line (rope) to raise the kite higher and higher.
Rudy, you are still a young man and may yet be the Mayor of Antigua (and if not, then maybe Caballero or Hidalgo). You have been the best Ambassador Antigua could wish for; always putting the best face of our favourite city forward; able to depict reality without being disloyal to her shortcomings and always exhibiting the beauty of LAG with love, friendly dialogue and photographic excellence! Long live the brand of La Antigua Guatemala and your participation in it! —El Canche
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