30th March 2020
Learn Spanish at Spanish School EDUCACION PARA TODOS, Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala.
Never it was most affordable learning Spanish abroad!!
FESTIVITIES OF XELA IN THIS SEASON
CELEBRATION FOR “OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY” IN OCTOBER
In Quetzaltenango, Guatemala we celebrate “La Virgen del Rosario” in English “Our Lady of the Rosary”, also known as Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary.The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, formerly known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory and Feast of the Holy Rosary, is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church, celebrated on 7 October, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined fleet of the Holy League of 1571 over the Ottoman navy at the Battle of Lepanto.
In Quetzaltenango, celebrations for “Our Lady of the Rosary” start on Thursday September 28th, 2017 with a big procession arond Central Park of Quetzaltenango. Then every Saturday and Sunday of October there are concerts and celebrations in front of Cathedral, also located in Central park of our city.
This celebration finishes on Sunday October 29th with another procession arond Central Park of Quetzaltenango.
DAY OF THE DEAD IN NOVEMBER
Day of the Dead is actually a three day celebration, starting from October 31st to November 2nd. October 31st being used for preparation for all the festivities and to start the mourning of passed loved ones. November 1st being All Saints’ Day being dedicated mostly to the memory of beloved children – angels. November 2nd All Souls’ Day being dedicated to all passed loved ones and family. All three days are mainly celebrated at grave sites and enjoyed with family and it is truly a time for celebration and should not be mistaken as a time to be scared or sad.
The four elements, plus other traditional items should be represented at these celebrations. Fire, is represented by the burning of candles, to help guide the dead to be amongst the living for the festivities. Water, is represented as an offering to go along with food offerings. Earth, is represented through food like Tamales, Ayote en Dulce, Fiambre and Pan de Muertos (day of the dead sweet bread – not too sweet); the aromas are also used to invoke spirits. Cempazuchitl or marigolds – the yellow flower of the dead is used to decorate the graves. Air/Wind, is represented through Papel Picado – cut out tissue paper and in Guatemala through kite flying. At the altars beautiful keepsakes of passed ones are brought, decorated sugar skulls represent and honor loved ones and photographs are shown for remembrance.
There are two prominent festivals for the Day of the Dead in Guatemala and stand out from other places. One being the Giant Kite festival, where giant room size handmade kites are flown above grave yards to honor the dead and at the end when the kites have been torn by the wind they are burned, so the smoke guides the dead back up to heaven. This is remarkable to me, because it takes days, weeks to make these beautiful handmade giant kites. The other festival is Todos Santos, a horse race like none other. It is for sure a silly event, because the night before and even during the event, the men party and drink to celebrate. They wear traditional clothing and celebrate by remembering passed loved ones in this kind of crazy celebration.
CHRISTMAS IN GUATEMALA
Most Guatemalans, plan and build, with the entire family, a Nativity Scene called a “Nacimiento” or “Belen”. Although it is originally a Spanish tradition, many indigenous (Guatemalan) elements are now used in the design and construction of the Nativity scenes. The “Nacimiento” is normally put under the Christmas Tree. One unique characteristic of Guatemalan Nativity scenes is the use of sawdust dyed in many bright colors.
On Christmas Eve families celebrate together and eat the main Christmas meal. It is made of several traditional dishes, but it always includes some Guatemalan tamales. In some regions they are made of corn and other of rice or potatoes. They can be sweet or not, and have several different ingredients inside like olives, prunes, peppers, chicken or pork.
Everyone waits until midnight to light hundreds of fireworks or firecrackers to celebrate the birth of Jesus. A family prayer is said around the tree and it is the custom to open the presents shortly after midnight.
EASTER WEEK IN GUATEMALA
Holy Week is one of the most important festivities in Guatemala. The celebrations start six weeks before Holy Week, with small fairs every Friday nearby different catholic churchs around our city where it is possible to eat traditional foods and have fun with shooting gallery and sideshow games.
Also Quetzaltenango (our city) and Guatemala in general is known by its prosessions with images made artistically by Guatemalan and European artisans, made of them with centuries of antiquity. During the prosessions Guatemalans use their creativity to adorn the streets with wonderful or colorful “alfombras” carpets made with colored sawdust, fruits, vegetables and flowers.
The special gastronomy for this season of the year is diverse but the most important dishes are fish, chickpea and special bread of Holly Week.
SPANISH SCHOOL EDUCACIÓN PARA TODOS
ADDRESS: Avenida El Cenizal 0-58 zona 5, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.
(We are located to only 8 minutes by walking from Central Park of Xela)
E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
PHONE: (011-502) 5566-1182