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List Of Holidays And Fiestas In Guatemala

Below is a list of the major holidays, fiestas, and celebrations in Guatemala. As in other places, banks and government offices close on holidays. These include New Year's Day, Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, Holy Saturday, Labor Day, Army Day, Assumption Day, Independence Day, Revolution Day, All Saint's Day, and Christmas.

January 1: New Years Day It is Guatemalan tradition to bring in the new year in a new outfit, which is supposed to bring good luck.

March/April: Semana Santa / Holy Week This is the most celebrated of all holidays in Guatemala. During the week leading up to Easter, expect to see religious processions, as well as mock crucifixions and resurrections. Thousands of visitors come to Antigua for Holy Week, where the most famous celebrations take place.

May 1: Labor Day Parties and parades commemorate this day all over Guatemala.

June 30: Army Day Known locally as Día del Ejército, this day pays tribute to Guatemala's armed forces. The holiday is also set in place in remembrance of the day conservative president Vicente Cerna was overthrown in 1871.

August 15: Assumption Day This day is observed in Guatemala City and the town of Santa Maria Nebaj, both who claim the Virgin Mary as patron saint.

September 15: Independence Day Guatemala celebrates Independence from Spain by setting off fireworks and dancing. After weeks of practice, school children parade throughout the streets during the day. The largest holiday fair is in Quetzaltenango.

October 12: Columbus Day

October 20: Revolution Day On this day, Guatemala celebrates the “October Revolution,”when dictator Jorge Ubico was overthrown in 1944. In Guatemala City, thousands of people celebrate in the streets near Plaza Mayor. Expect lots of music, dance, and as always, fireworks.

November 1/2: All Saints Day / Day of the Dead In the town of Santiago Sacatepepequez near Antigua, giant kites are flown in the cemeteries in an effort to communicate with the deceased. Throughout Guatemala, fiambre—a salad made up of deceased relatives favorite ingredients—is traditionally served.

December 7: Burning of the Devil Guatemalans gather everything worth burning—such as waste paper and old household items—and set it ablaze to cleanse their homes for the holy weeks to come.

December 13-21: Tribute to Santo Tomás In Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, there is a big festival that mixes Christian and Mayan traditions with lots of fireworks and dancing. On the last day, people swing from a rope around a pole, known as palo volador.

December 25: Christmas Day Guatemalans celebrate Christmas throughout the entire month of December, placing large emphasis on the nativity scene.

December 31: New Years Eve An abundance of fireworks make this the nosiest of all Guatemalan holidays. Tamales are traditionally eaten at midnight.

There is also a Mayan New Year celebration that celebrates life and renewal. Since the Mayan calendar has 260 days, the date varies. Each town in Guatemala also has its own holiday, usually dedicated to exalting the town's patron saint.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Guatemala: When to Go to Nebaj, Holidays & Festivals, When to Go to Huehuetenango, When To Go To Chichicastenango, Holidays And Fiestas In Guatemala, Holidays/Festivals, Semana Santa and When To Go To Santa Cruz del Quiché.

10 Jun 2010

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