Guatemala: Fiesta de la Virgen de Guadalupe altar snapshots

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(Video link.) I'm in Guatemala for a while, and was out on the streets of la Antigua during the big nighttime celebrations for La Virgen de Guadalupe Day this weekend. Above and after the jump, more photos (shot on iPhone).

How do they celebrate this beloved Catholic/indigenous hybrid deity? A mezcla of circus, ceremony, and "get your picture taken with Santa" kiddie portrait dioramas (featuring altars for la Virgen instead of that fat, bearded gringo). What better way to honor a New World goddess than with food, flowers, chickens, ponies, crazy-dancing — and lots of homemade explosives.

Here's a related post by Guatemalan blogger Kara Andrade about observations of the same festival in the town of Chiquimula (more about the crazy bombas here). And Antigua-based photog Rudy Girón has a photo-essay here.


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  1. Very nice indeed.
    Happy Tonatzintonal
    Day of the Guadalupe virgin as per original Nahuatl name – our dear mother.
    Now, how is it in Mayab?

    Please ignore my fellow angry countryman. Centuries of oppression have taken away the best of us.

  2. Well I am Guatemalan and I sincerely appreciate you shining the spotlight on such a rich culture. These pictures are amazing and they make me homesick.

  3. I see the Virgin de Guadelupe every day in my bathroom, which has become a religious shrine. When there was no electrical power in our bathroom, I deployed lots of these candles.

    Now, at work, we pray to Our Lady of Santa Clara, one of the other iconed available candles.

  4. Funny that the top right bill on 1st picture reads :
    “No se le permite tomar fotos con su cámara”
    which means ‘no pictures allowed’ :-)

  5. So you are not allowed to take pictures with your cam; but you can take them with someone else’s?
    Oh, how I love these inaccurate, almost illiterate signs…

    3rd Picture: “Recuerdo Inolvidable”… by definition, if you remember it, you have not forgotten it…

    Solo en Guatemala, solo los chapines :)

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