Antigua Guatemala city was founded as ‘Santiago de Guatemala’. ‘Dia de Santiago Apostol’ (Saint James’ Day) is celebrated in several cities in Latin America, as well as in Antigua Guatemala.
The images you see above show the early preparation for the ‘July 25th Santiago Festival’. ‘Santiago’ was a apostle, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, he is also known as ‘Santiago el Grande’ (James the Great). When Pedro de Alvarado came to conquer Guatemala, he founded the first capital of the country for the Spaniards and named it ‘Santiago de Guatemala’, the capital city was moved twice to to the small valley which is today Antigua Guatemala.
The celebration covers many activities, from school parades with bands making their way to the Antigua Guatemala soccer stadium, a City Hall ceremony, a procession for Saint James passing by several streets in Antigua Guatemala, a series of small music concerts and you can miss the very popular BAILE DE LOS GIGANTES (Dance of the Giants) as well as BAILE DE LOS MOROS (Moors Dance), the celebrations end with a fireworks show in the evening.
Note : if you would like to learn more about the Moors Dance click here.