All Saints Day – Todos Santos Cuchumatán, Guatemala 🇬🇹 1rst November 2015oo

// Part 6 of 8 //

While all of Guatemala celebrates Dia de Todos los Santos, the small hilly town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán is known for having one of the best festivals during which local men hold wild, drunken horse races.

These races are the culmination of a week-long festivities and a mad night of dancing and libations that continue throughout the day of the race for all men, riders included…

Upon arriving to the village, we admired the costumes of the inhabitants and particularly the attires and the headdresses of the racers.

Trying to catch a good view of the races, we climbed a grassy hill and found ourselves a suitable spot on a rooftop. The track is approximately 100m long and the horses have to cross it 6 times, back and forth, a drunk rider saddled on their back.

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We left during the midday break before the races resumed. According to our guide, we shouldn’t stay until the races are over as the general excitement would be, well…At the end, the streets are lined with men so drunk they can no longer stand.

The races sound like fun but each year there are many injuries, some fatal…and paradoxically that bring honor to the deceased’s family..

Let the Party Begin

// Part 1 of 8//

Traveling in itself is a rewarding experience, and the icing on the cake is when you witness a particular celebration during your stay. If you do your homework properly, you can time your trip according to annual happenings in your planned destination. We did it when we visited Laos 🇱🇦 for the Boum That Luang Festival, worked it out to be in a Guatemala 🇬🇹 celebrating All Saints Day and next day’s colourful Day of the Dead …and while in Bhutan 🇧🇹, we ended the Druk Path Trek with a big celebration:The Thimphu Tsechu Festival.

However, you might stumble upon such events unknowingly and that’s even better…forget the anticipatory hype and the build-ups, the surprise factor doubles the pleasure and is truly the cherry on top of the icing on the cake..Talking from experiences, twice in Myanmar 🇲🇲 and 5 times in Peru 🇵🇪 !!

 


Shinbyu , Noviciation Ceremony- Pagan , Myanmar – February 2005

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Nat Festival – Mt Popa, Myanmar February 2005

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Boun That Luang Festival- Vientiane, Laos November 2007

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The 20th anniversary of the School of Civil Engineering at Universidad Andina Nestor Cáceres Velásquez – Puno, Peru October 2011

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           All Saints Day – Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Guatemala, November 2015 
 
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The Day of the Dead – Zunil, Guatemala November 2015

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The Thimphu Tsechu Festival – Thimphu, Bhutan October 2016