Guatemala town celebrates patron saint with dance, fireworks


CHICHICASTENANGO – With dances and fireworks, indigenous residents of a town in the Guatemalan highlands on Saturday held a festival celebrating their patron saint, Thomas the apostle.

Much of the activity in Chichicastenango, including a procession with a wooden statue of Thomas, centered on the centuries-old church in the town.

Founded by the Spanish, Chichicastenango is a center of the Quiché ethnic group. A Spanish priest found the Popol Vuh, a text describing Mayan culture and mythology, in the town and translated it into Spanish.

Chichicastenango is a popular destination at this time of year, with many foreign tourists flocking to the main square to witness the annual festival.