Festival San Sebastian in Chichicastenango 1/19/03
photos by Lois and Don Porter

San Sebastian

Unbeknownst to us beforehand, Sunday, January 19th is San Sebastian’s Day. We happened to arrive at the San Tomás Church in Chichicastenango two minutes before the Brotherhood (Cofradía) began the procession carrying the saints out of the church into the street in celebration of this day. We hope that these photos succeed in conveying the excitement, noise (very loud rockets were being launched from iron cylinders on the church steps, then exploding 50 feet in the air), smells (there were many, many beautiful flowers as well as massive smoke from copal incense), music (a marimba was carried by two men while three other men played it; plus there were flutes, drums, and a chirimia) and pageantry of this event. The important men and women are wearing their finest ceremonial dress and often carrying candles or staffs with silver sun badges on top. Everyone had a great time, especially us (behind the cameras).

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