Posts Tagged ‘Day of the Dead in Guatemala’

Giant kites again

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

In 2013, we went to Guatemala to see the giant kites flown in honor of Day of the Dead. I’m thinking of that trip now, amid the hubbub of Halloween planning here, and remembering the thrill of seeing those masterpieces of color and design and message, cut paper glued on bamboo, sent aloft to the sky. Here’s a video I posted before, but which bears re-watching. People ask what it is about Guatemala that captivates and obsesses me, and I say: “This. This!”


The giant kites at Sumpango

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Last year at this time I was en route to Guatemala to find out more about the country’s Day of the Dead celebration. My sister, another adoptive mom and I hired a driver and spent the day at Sumpango, the site of an annual festival of giant kite flying. As you probably know, one element of Guatemala’s Day of the Dead observance is flying kites–the belief is that the string serves as a conduit between the person holding the stringĀ  and those loved ones who have gone before.

Teams of locals spend months designing and planning their kites’ themes and designs. The frames are constructed from bamboo, and covered with colorful pieces of tissue paper, cut and glued.

Afterwards, we visited a cemetery, which was filled to overflowing with families eating, drinking, arranging flowers, listening to music, and in at least one case, dancing to marimba.