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Know about Chichicastenango Guatemala, by Francisco Grazioso

mayan market Chichicastenango

Located at 135 kms from Guatemala city is a place named Chichicastenango, this comes from the mayan lenguague Quiché and means on English Land of Ortiches. Chichicastenango, is find on the highlands in Guatemala, the mayority of the population is of the Quiché tribe, is inside the 23 different tribes of mayan discents who lives in Guatemala.

Chichicastenango is known for has the biggest mayan market in Central  America, Market day is Thursday and Sunday, here you will find textiles, fruits and other things made in the Chichicastenango area, with friendly locals who invites you to buy their products, on the town.


Guatemala church

Builded in 1551, this is the main church of the town, where is practiced the syncretism, syncretism is the mix of two religions from one side, Catholicism, for the other side mayan believes, when you arrive to the main gate you will see people using inciense on main gate, asking permission to God for can make the prayer inside the temple, inside the temple is twelve spaces for can set the candles and make the prayer to God, the people when enter to the church put the candles only white or yellow color and add rose petals over the space for make the prayers to God, also them add a spirit drink over the candles is the way to pray, I must say that is forbidden take pictures inside Santo Thomas Church, the reason the people of town think that with each picture you will take their souls.

Is mass service all Sundays at 7 am in mayan language. When this church was build there was a mysterious worker who help out with the temple construction, the last day of the construction he says goodbye to his partners and he disappear, people was by all town searching him even by all town, the legend saids that Pascual, was his name appears on a hill and became from human to stone.

The Candle´s color meaning: Like I told you before the color of the candles has a important meaning for people who practice syncretism and each color has a meaning:

* White color: Health for a kids
* Yellow color : Health for yourself
* Green color: Money
* Blue Color: Business
* Red Color: Love
* Light blue color: If some of your relatives Is on jail, for can go out of the jail as soon as possible.
* Purpule color: If someone of your relatives is drinking for to stop to do it.
* Black color: Against enemies.

Inside the Catholic church is forbidden set black candles.



The Cementery:

The cementery is not a regular cementery why? Because all the graves have different colors this is because the people who lives on Chichicastenango are of the idea that the life is gray, and the death is colorful.

Mashimon or Maximo:

During the conquers occupation, the mayan people who lives in the region of Atitlán lake and after that on this place, make his own saint or the keeper, to the Spanish people was told that was Saint Simon, but was a idol that the mayan people made and them in this place makes rituals on his honor such as smoke with him and give him to drink spirits.

December 21th feast in honor to Saint Thomas:  6 months before the cofrades, is a religious group makes joins for search the nicer tree for bless it by mayan ritual and cut it, because on December 21th is celebrated the feast of Sain Thomas or Santo Tomás, them pray to Saint Thomas and gods than them believes through a ceremony called El Palo Volador or the flying stick. This tradition consist in put two guys among the ages of 15-25 years old on the top of the stick, the stick begins to move, and the dancers like are known begin to move on the flyer stick them has a protection with a rope. When the prayer begins it let them goes slowly coming down singing and praying to the gods. On this fest it also used another saint for them of the syncretism a Spanish guy riding an horse, he is worship by the locals of the place because he bring all the games and vices to the place.

Pascual Abaj or Pascual´s Hill:

Guatemala hill

Over this place located in the town is on high 200 meters is the stone of Pascual like I told before, here you find Shamans or mayan priests who offer the services of prayers to locals and foreigners, cleans, prayers, the prayer here consist in set over the land a circule of salt or sugar, add water of roses and petal of roses, also chocolate if is a prayer for a kid and beef if is a prayer of a kid, them set the candles also depending of the people who is asking the prayer is so the color.

On the ceremony if at time to set the bon fire such as prayer is going such as the clock hands is something good, the mayan people when prays never says a regular prayers of Catholicism such a Own Father or Hail Mary them ask at loud voice on the church his prayers to God in quiche is their own language.

Moreover, in Chichicastenango there are hotels to stay such as Mayan Inn and Hotel Santo Tomás, Mayan Inn is the older one in that area, in Santo Tomás Hotel you will see parrots and Sundays is marimba ( National Guatemalan instrument, such a xylophone but made of wood is not a regular wood is a wood known such as the ant male wood tree, below has same wood this is known like concert marimba. You can eat regional food in Santo Tomás Hotel.

Related Post: All About Atitlán Lake, Guatemala


 * Guest blog, posted by:   Francisco Grazioso
                                              (General Manager)
                                              (Toscana Tours Guatemala)

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