Colorful Cemeteries Of Guatemala Celebrate The Afterlife
The fact that the afterlife is respected and highly celebrated in the Guatemala culture, has determined the people belonging to the culture to color their cemeteries. Thus, all the cemeteries throughout the countryside of Guatemala include tombstones that are colored in strong nuances. The friends and the family of the deceased paint the tombstone using their favorite color to honor and remember the dead. The color of these cemeteries is reason enough why some of them, such as those in the departments of Solóla, Chichicastenango and Xela(Quetzaltenango), have became tourist attractions.
There is one day of the year, 1 November, which is known as the Day of the Dead or All Saints Day, when the cemeteries are flooded by people dressed up in colorful clothing, who come to pray for those who passed on, to clean the graves and decorate them with flowers; and they have picnics right next to their deceased family members.
Building giant kites of vibrant colors near the cemetery is another tradition. The locals share a common belief, according to which if they fly kites with messages, they will be able to communicate with the dead.