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We happily spent this Dia de los Muertos at a kite festival in Guatemala. A mere 30 minutes drive from the bustling colonial streets of Antigua, up the windy mountain roads, and you arrive in Sumpango – a town most known for its annual kite festival. Locals and foreigners alike gather to indulge in the festivities. Amongst the crowd of festival goers you’ll see mucha ‘comida tipica’ (traditional Guatemalan food), people carrying umbrellas to shade themselves from the relentless sun, people flying kites small and large, as well as massive, kites being supported by bamboo sticks in upright display. Although these massive kites aren’t being flown, they are perhaps the most impressive part of the festival. With intricate patterns and inspirational messages made of paper and cloth, they are sure to lure onlookers.

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The Sumpango kite festival is one of a few that take place in Guatemala on Dia de los Muertos. Local word-of-mouth says this cultural tradition originated a few thousand years ago and is believed to be a way to communicate with the deceased on the Day of the Dead holiday.There is no admission cost for the festival and it last most of the day and into the night. If you’re in Antigua for Halloween, Sumpango on November 1st is a great way to experience a taste of Guatemalan culture.

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