Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Just like we promised, we're back with news of the Independence Day celebration in Antigua!

A few days following September 15th various groups (often schools) light a torch and have a celebratory "running of a torch" back to their homes (schools). The torches are traditionally lit in Guatemala City, but these days the mayor of Antigua also lights them so allow for a shorter run. The torch runners are often followed by a chicken bus, van, ambulance, parade of cars, etc. that beeps their horns continuously, making as much of a spectacle as they possibly can! All torches have to have met their destination by midnight September 14th.

In Antigua all of the school marching bands, young and old, have been practicing their hardest for months leading up to this big day....or days! On both the 13th & 14th there are parades showcasing the local marching bands, but the biggest event occurs on the 15th. All of the secondary schools parade around town in the morning and then return to the stadium for all to see. Then again in the evening, the best bands return for a battle that happens all around the central park. The bands all play at the same time - it's pure madness and pure exhilaration!

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