Guatemalan Fair: The Church and its Saint

San Pedro Las Huertas Church dress up for fair

Even though we began a tour through San Pedro Las Huertas town’s fair on Friday, June 29th, 2007; it didn’t cross my mind, until yesterday, that we could actually try to document some aspects of a typical Guatemalan town’s fair with all of its stands, games, fire crackers, sawdust, pine-needle and flowers processional carpets. We had to break the coverage of San Pedro Las Huertas fair to participate in the theme day of the Daily Photo community, which La Antigua Guatemala is part of.

The tour of the fair began with an overview of some of the food stands and the church in the background, then we saw the altar inside the San Pedro Las Huertas church. So far we have an overview of the elements necessary to recreate a typical Guatemalan fair.

Almost all town fairs and festivities are around the town’s patron, in this case is San Pedro Las Huertas, which by the way, means Saint Peter of the vegetable gardens. Since Guatemala was a catholic country for the last 500 years or so and the Mesoamerican indigenous people absorbed and mixed the catholic rituals and traditions with their own religious beliefs and traditions, most Guatemalan towns have a Spanish catholic first name and often an indigenous last name (otherwise known as the original name). For example, Santo Domingo Xenacoj, which means the original name of the town was Xenacoj, and the town was re-christen with Santo Domingo. Now with the above information, we now know that a town’s fair happens once-a-year on the town’s catholic patron. For San Pedro Las Huertas the date is June 29th and for La Antigua Guatemala is July 25th because the city used to be called The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Lords of Guatemala, as mentioned by Manolo a few days ago. And some of you thought La Antigua Guatemala was already a very long name; try explaining to your friends and relatives that you are planning a vacation to The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Lords of Guatemala.

So after all this rambling, I present to you the main element which spawns the San Pedro Las Huertas town fair: The Church. You already saw the altar inside last Saturday. Below, there should be a small 360° view video clip of the church from the main plaza. Come back tomorrow and all this week for more elements of a typical Guatemalan fair.

© 2007 – 2020, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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