Our time in Guatemala was coming to an end. I knew that much.
So I knew that we needed to experience the Giant Kite Festival in Sumpango for Dia de los Muertos... it’s one of those ‘must see’ things in Guatemala.
Now I wanted to be a part of this traditional festival, where the giant kites are supposed to represent the souls of departed ancestors who are ascending to heaven...
No matter what it really represents, it is reputedly a pretty impressive sight. So I wanted to go.
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We also chose this as our big departure day, which meant we needed everything packed up and stored and ready to go, since we didn’t know when we would be returning to the Homestead.
Even though we left the market in Chichi early the day before, we still didn’t get our packing done. So we arose around 6am and packed and packed and finally got finished and said our goodbyes (with tears) and were on the road by 8am.
I was a little worried, because the festival began at 8am and it would take us two hours to get there. Were we going to miss all the flying of the giant kites?
But when we arrived I saw there was no need to worry. This was an all day event, sort of ‘fair’ style and they apparently only fly the smaller ‘giant’ kites, not the colossal size... which I could see why. These things were HUGE and must have weighed several hundred pounds.
Impressive works of art, each kite was created out of tissue paper that was taped together.
We walked in awe and took photos. Our favorites were the big black one in the back, and next to it, the peacock.
But just as we were standing next to it, admiring it, a gust of wind ripped it from it’s frame (watch the video below). It was sad to see something like that ruined, that must have taken so long to create... but before we left, they had it repaired and back up.
A couple of other kites also ripped off or blew over, frame and all... kind of dangerous considering how large they were (the kids were sure someone got squashed.) I later heard that this was the first year they’d had so many problems with kites blowing over.
We had to eat, of course... and there were lots of yummy options.
This is what we got.
Then we got ice cream, since it was so ‘hot’... hey, we’re used to the ‘cold’ weather of 7200 feet at The Homestead.
It was a very neat experience! I highly recommend it next time Dia de los Muertos rolls around.
But our time had come to depart. We were headed to Antigua (although we were stopped by Dancing in the Streets, and then found some hot springs where we attempted to camp for the night... until the police aroused us from our sleep and kicked us out. But that’s a story for next time.)
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