All Saints Day In Guatemala Essay

1015 words - 5 pages

All Saints Day, which is celebrated in Guatemala, is a day of celebrating loved ones who have died. This day,“Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, originated in Mexico centuries ago.”1 It is a day of joy and not of sorrow. This is the when people pray for help from the saints who have passed on. They also pray that those who have died without becoming saints will become saints. Fancy decorations, food, and fun are all joined together to help celebrate this day in Guatemala.
The home is one of the places that is beautifully decorated. An alter is set up with pictures of their loved ones, candles, flowers, bread, fruit, atole and aguardiente. Atole is a drink that is made of corn ...view middle of the document...

7 The four main divisions one could make of the ingredients used are meats, vegetables, toppings, and dressings.8 These dressings are made of spices or of vinegar and mustard. When there is not meat used in the salad, it is called fiambre verde. Another kind, fiambre rojo has beets in it and while fiambre blanco does not. The fourth type is a desarmado where the food is not put into salad form, but served separately. The list of ingredients that one uses can grow as the years go by as more loved ones die and more favorites are added. One of the recipes I found had around 30 ingredients, but one person said that it can grow to 100 things.9 This sure is a lot of ingredients!
Kite flying is one of the fun yet ritualistic things that happens on All Saints Day in Santiago Sacatepequez and in Sumpango. These are not just ordinary kites. They are called “barilletas gigantes, or 'Giant Kites' [and are] meticulously hand-crafted, circular kites ranging from 8′ in diameter, to as large as 35 feet.”10 They are made from crepe/tissue paper and bamboo. The kites are also very colorful and contain folklore. It is believed that the spirits of their loved ones can identify the colors and slide down the string to be with them.11 The tails on their kites also carry messages to their loved ones. The higher the bigger the chance that their loved ones will receive them. After the kites are flown, they burn them, so that the spirits will return instead of lingering and causing harm. “The immensely popular celebration draws a large crowd, from local Guatemalans to international travelers, who all come specifically to witness the majestic display and long-standing cultural tradition.”12 This kite flying must be quite amazing.
Kites are not the only unique way of celebrating this day. In Chintla they have horse races. They race to the cemetery and back....

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