Why visit Guatemala and major festivals: The enigmatic Mayan culture that still inhabits the highlands offers authentic experiences through unique religious syncretism. This syncretism is a mixture of the Catholic faith brought by the Spaniards and the Mayan beliefs that are present in the festivals and celebrations that natives develop during all year.
Major Festivals in Guatemala : Jueves de la Ascencion at La Laguna de Chicabal in Quetzaltenango. La Laguna Chicabal is a lime-green lake, at 2712 m, in the crater of the extinct volcano of the same name. The Mayas believed the waters are sacred, and it is thought that if you swim in the lake, you will get ill. Ceremonies of Maya initiation are held at the lake in early May (40 days after Good Friday), known as Jueves de la Ascensión, and it’s celebrated with traditional music, flowers, and prayers at the Lake. Be respectful of the tradition, and you should not take pictures.
Festival of Rabin Ajau and election of Indian Princess Tesulután in Coban. July 25th: The celebrations that occur in the location of Cobán through the Folkloric Festival of the Rabin Ajau and also the election of the Princess Tesulutlán are the single most remarkable celebrations of indigenous traditions in Guatemala. The communities of Alta Verapaz are probably less popular with regards to tourism, and yet they are probably the most charming and rich in folklore. In many of the villages in Alta Verapaz, particularly Cobán and San Pedro Carchá, the majority of the ancestral celebratory customs are conserved, especially the religious festivity of the Paabanc which is a unique traditional dance that is performed all over this area by the natives, the Kekchis, who express the perpetuation of their traditions and attires. Throughout this festivity, you’ll be able to discover and appreciate traditional meals and dances. Find even more info at Vacations in Guatemala.
More Guatemala attractions: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second-largest city, is the commercial center of southwestern Guatemala. More commonly called Xela, the town’s major sights are the Parque Centro America and the Neoclassical buildings surrounding it. Most of these buildings, apart from the cathedral, stem from the era in the 19th century when Xela was a major trading and artistic community. Many visitors come to Quetzaltenango to study Spanish or enjoy hiking in the nearby mountains. Walking up Volcan Tajumulco, Central America’s highest peak, is one of the more adventurous options. In addition to being a relatively clean and safe city, Quetzaltenango’s altitude of 2,333 meters ensures warm days, cool nights, and no mosquitoes. The city also serves as a base for excursions to the many nearby villages noted for their hot springs and handicrafts.
Situated in the lowland rainforest of northern Guatemala, Tikal is one of the top tourist attractions in Guatemala due to its beauty and ancient wonders. The name Tikal translates as “Place of Voices” (sometimes, “Place of Tongues”) and once boasted a bustling population of a quarter million or more. Today, however, all that is left of this ancient metropolis are a number of beautiful Mayan ruins. The city is surrounded by a large wildlife preserve, full of monkeys, parrots, deer, macaws and other incredible specimens. You’ll need to set aside a minimum of two days for a thorough exploration of this natural gem. Discover extra info on www.martsam.com.