Guatemala: Christmas Day video and audio snapshots

La Recolleción ruins, la Antigua Guatemala (More photos). ¡Feliz Navidad, yo! I woke up at noon here in la Antigua, Guatemala, bleary-eyed from tamale and ponche-fueled Christmas Eve celebrations that lasted 'til 3am, and all of a sudden? This. One of many random Christmas Day parades along the cobblestone streets here. Children dancing behind a truck blasting merengue dance tunes. Homemade cartoon costumes I spotted included Marvin the Martian, Shrek, assorted zombies and Satans, and every Looney Tunes or Disney persona imaginable. Both kids and bystanders had a blast, and they paraded around all day long. My favorite is the Bart Simpson whose head keeps tipping over because it's too heavy. Video quality isn't super high def, shot it on my iPhone, but was happy to have had something in my pocket to record it with. YouTube video link.

Below, three ambient audio snippets (also recorded on iPhone, using the voice memo app... I mention because I'm always surprised at how good the audio quality is). Click the linked descriptions if you prefer to download the MP3s or other file formats. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

1) Christmas Day fireworks at noon. So many going off, sounds like weaponized rain.

2) Choir singing "Ave Maria" inside a church built in 1583.

3) Kakchikel Maya father and son street musicians, performing marimba.



  1. Christmas day starts at midnight here in Buenos Aires. “Weaponized rain” is just about right. Most people seemed to drink 2-3 bottles of champagne (as evidenced by their appearance on the street corner), and then were escorted by their wives and children where they would throw m-80 fireworks into traffic. Apparently this is pretty common, and the main avenue, 20 lanes wide (9 de Julio Avenue) was empty (in a city of 3 million!) from 12-1 here. A group of about 300 sat around the obelisk, we sat, drinking dancing and setting off more fireworks. Not a bad way to start off the holiday.

  2. Xeni, I probably missed the background, but why Guatemala so much?

    Have you been to Lake Atitlan? beau-ti-ful.

  3. You know what’s weird? I was there as well.. and we took almost the exact same picture at La Recollection… strange!

  4. I thought it was illegal to drink in Antigua past 10… well, anyway, Xmas is celebrated on the 24th, and it is WAAAAY better in the city. The whole city unites to burn whatever fireworks you can put your hands on. The prices rage from Q.1.00 to about Q.1000.00 per piece. It is actually a matter of status. It is very common to be competing with the neighbor to see who could buy the biggest meanest rocket and whose firework show lasts the longest. On the 25th, both the streets and the skies are gray from all the trash and smoke that gets thrown out.

    For New Year’s the best place to be is el Puerto San Jose, you will go to 3 day parties you could only dream of… if not, Antigua, filled with millions of tourists, is also a great option. Be sure to visit Pana, as well.

  5. Looks like you beat me there, I’ll be heading down after the new years. Glad you are enjoying yourself.

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