I’m always looking for cultural events and places to go to near Antigua, and earlier this year I started seeing pictures of the famous kite festivals in Sumpango for Dia de los Muertos. Since November 1st is a national holiday, and most people don’t have to work, we decided to drive there to experience it yesterday. It was incredible to see the kites in person (they’re huge), and it’s fun to see the local culture and community come together…traditions are still very much alive here!
Various groups in the Sumpango area come together to build massive kites built of thin paper, bamboo, and string. All of the kites are painted, and often will depict important issues such as the environment, women’s rights, etc. (my favorite pictured below). On the day of the festival, they fly the kites over the crowd on top of a huge hill in Sumpango, next to their cemetery.
The only downside of the festival is the amount of people; it’s INSANE. They could use some organization, since it’s pretty crazy once you get up on the hill. The upside? The food 🙂 There was a ton of street food like elote (pictured below), grilled meats, typical sweets, popcorn, ceviche, and of course, beer.
Each group that makes the kites has the opportunity to fly them, but apparently the biggest ones never go up in the air (probably because they could do some serious damage to the crowd if they fell).
We stayed for a couple hours, and when we decided to leave, it took us forever to get out. Again…so.many.people. Sumpango is a town built on many hills, with crumbling houses made of cinder blocks and narrow roads. It’s easy to get lost there, and it’s difficult to get in/out when there are thousands of people trying to do the same thing.
When we finally got out, we came home and made it just in time to watch the Souls Day Procession from our house! We were lucky that they came right down our street, so we just opened the windows and watched (Maya too). It was eerily quiet, and when we opened the windows we didn’t expect there to be hundreds of people on the street!
There must have been about 60 men carrying this massive float through the streets
Later on, we walked to the park near our house (Tanque La Union) to watch the sunset. You can see all 3 volcanoes from here!
We went to our favorite Pupusa spot for dinner (again)
And then came home and watched more episodes of The Americans… SO GOOD!
Hope you have a great Wednesday 🙂