In Guatemala, a procession through the cobblestone streets of the former capital, Antigua, marks the end of the Day of the Dead, All Saints and All Souls.
Procession Commemorating the Souls of the Departed
Every year it takes place on the first Saturday night of November. The Roman Catholic Escuela de Jesus created a float with the lifeless body of Jesus being mourned by the Virgin Mary, the Angel Gabriel at hand, bourne by numerous men and women throughout the streets. Dirge-playing marching bands and robed marchers follow. Carried through the cobblestone streets of Antigua by numerous bearers, honors the spirits of the ancestors, those who suffered and died, and those who carry great burdens.
Day of the Dead in Guatemala
For Dia de los Muertos, Guatemaltecos honor their ancestors with a series of devotions, rituals, and celebrations. October 31st generally brings families together with brooms, buckets, paint, and gloves to clean the final resting places of their loved ones. They repair and repaint their family mausoleums and niches. The cemeteries fill with people preparing for the visits and adorning that will happen the following day.
On November 1, families head to the grave site with favorite food and drink of passed family members. In some areas, families hire marimba bands to play for their loved ones. They decorate grave sites with flowers, plants, and wreaths to show thanks to their family members.
All Souls Day happens on the 2nd of November, and many villages fly giant colorful kites and others race horses through the streets. The Antigua procession is the conclusion to the festivities.