Guatemala // The western highlands //

Fiesta time in Chichicastenango

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Chichicastenango’s appetite for religious fervour is especially evident during the fiesta of Santo Tomás, from December 14 to 21. It’s a spectacular occasion, with attractions including the Palo Volador, in which men dangle by ropes from a 20m pole, a live band or two, a massive procession, traditional dances, clouds of incense, gallons of chicha and deafening fireworks. On the final day, all babies born in the previous year are brought to the church for christening. Easter is also celebrated with tremendous energy and piety.

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