I love Christmas festivities and Antigua has so far exceeded expectations this year. Celebrations kicked off with the traditional burning of the devil. With that out of the way, it was time to bring on the fireworks – Guatemalans thoroughly enjoy them. Took this pic at last weeks firework show:
Fireworks show in front of San Jose Cathedral
This week? More fireworks! I’m at home, it’s a little bit past midnight, and I can still hear fireworks going off in the distance. By the way, how did I know these things were happening? Easy, I checked my /your very own Antigua Events page (click to open in new window). No excuse to miss out on events now. Here’s a pic I took from Parque Central this weekend:
Fireworks show in front of Palace of Captain-Generals
But I didn’t go to Antigua on Saturday just to see fireworks. I was – I mean, my daughter was there really there to see Santa :
Santa Claus in Antigua Guatemala
Turns out there were quite a few mini-events going on in Arco Street this Saturday – including an appearance by Santa. All 100% free! It was nice to hear some Christmas carols…
Choir at Arco Street
… see the three wise men – which I grew up with as a Christmas tradition, not Santa…
Three wise men – or wise teens – in Antigua
…and see a live nativity scene, something I can’t recall ever seeing before. Pretty cool.
Live nativity scene
And of course, there had to be a nice Guatemalan touch. It ain’t a celebration here until marimbas are making music.
Marimba music at Arco Street
Since the night was chilly, we headed towards La Merced for some hot ponche, the traditional fruit drink of Christmas. On our way back, the live animals for the little ones were already out.
Live animals in Antigua
And before you ask, yes, I did touch that… donkey. They also had sheep. Or was it goats? What I do know is that it was also a good photo-op.
Riding the donkey in Antigua.
The streets weren’t very crowded…
Christmas at Calle del Arco
…because most people were hanging out at the other end of the park at the free concert. Even Santa stopped by to say hello to the crowd.
Free concert in Antigua
And this being Antigua, of course, there had to be a procession making the rounds, albeit a tiny one – well, not really a procession, but a posada. This one was honoring Virgin Guadalupe, whose celebration was held on Friday, December 12th. Maybe they were making up for having missed the big one the previous day?
Guadalupe procession at Christmas
And that was as good a Christmas-season day I’ve had in a while. No malls, no crazy crowds, just traditional Christmas carols to get you in the mood for the season.
What’s your favorite part of Christmas?