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GIANT KITE FAIR

Giant kite fair
Each year is celebrated, everywhere in Central America, the Toussaint. In Sumpango, Guatemala, this day is marked by the Feria de los barriletes gigantes (giant kite fair).

Cervolants géants à Sumpango au Guatemala
Cervolants géants à Sumpango au Guatemala

History and origins
According to the legend, many years ago and yearly, when it was the Day of the Dead (November 1st), the cemetery of Sumpango was invaded with bad spirits. They were disturbing the good spirits resting in this place. So the good spirits were wandering around, worried and nagged, in the calm streets and houses of the village. 

To remedy the situation, the inhabitants decided to consult sorcerers. They got together and found out how to force the retreat of the bad spirits. According to them, all that had to be done was to ensure that wind hit pieces of paper in order to make a sound that would scare the bad spirits and leave the good ones rest in peace.

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Kite fabrication
The fabrication of giant kites, 10 to 13 meters of diameter, necessitates at least 35 people working 45 consecutive days at it, at a matter of 6 hours a day. These pieces of art are priceless, however the material and staff cost can total as much as seven thousand dollars. For most people, this activity is a hobby that occupies their evenings for months. 

Concepteurs de cervolants géants à Sumpango au Guatemala

Concepteurs de cervolants géants à Sumpango au Guatemala These giant multicoloured kites are fabricated with china paper. Their structure is of bamboo or of wood. The artists first make the drawings on white paper. Then, they trace them on coloured paper that they cut and paste to form the kite’s sides. It’s once at the event site that the final assembly is done.  
  Have a look at the other culture and tradition articles.

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