Kites of Sumpango

sumpango01To be in Sumpango on a day when they make and exhibit gigantic kites is precious; this festival is more and more popular among visitors of Guatemala. And that day is called Day of the dead – 1st of November.

Flying kites is an important part of various ceremonies that surround that day. It is widely believed that by doing this you get in touch with your deceased ancestors. Local climate provides you with winds in that period, making kites is a widespread skill in some areas of the country, so all things are set for this incredible event.

But, gigantic kites are not made for flying;  the tornado would be able to pick them up. Therefore, it must be something else that pushes groups of youngsters to spend long working hours designing and then producing this beauty.

Messages. Every kite has a message that is a theme that guides its creators. The first phase is performed away from the prying eyes of spectators: design is made on paper, and then transferred into a colored paper layout. The second phase comes on the spot, a gigantic bamboo framework is constructed, along with usually three pillars that will hold the kite. The most astonishing moment comes after the crew has attached the paper to the frame. Kites, often bigger than 20 meters, are then pulled by the ropes and pushed from beneath into their vertical position. Every lifting operation is followed by the applause, if successful.

And then, voila, you have spectacular sight of 20-30 or more kites exhibited on the soccer field of Sumpango. Then, it is time for the jury to select best ones, and the fiesta follows. All festival is garnished with excellent food, street vendors, and happy cheering crowd.

The sad part comes in the night when all kites are burned. That is why I always leave earlier. It is too sad for me.

Kites of Sumpango

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