Away from the center of the city of Chichicastenango, Guatemala, on a hill little visited by tourists, is one of the most colorful cemeteries in the world.
It is the General Cemetery, which is a part of the Mayan tradition and has tombs full of colors that make the landscape a vibrant and unique place.
While for many it is opposed to the exhibition of color with the loss of lives, the indigenous Mayan tradition seeks to honor the dead and encourages the living to make peace with death, something that will reach us all.
Color, symbolism and respect
All year round, in the city of K’iche in Chichicastenango, offerings of candles, incense, flowers and even chickens for the cemetery are made. In addition, families clean and paint the graves of their loved ones during the annual Day of the Dead.
The colors of the tombstones have a great symbolism for the locals, white represents purity, yellow the vital force of the sun, and turquoise is used for protection. But families can also choose to paint the tombs with the favorite color of the deceased.
Maya religious influence
Although Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, the Mayan ritual continues to be infused, achieving a fusion between both religions.
Cementerio de Chichicastenango. Está catalogado como uno de los más coloridos del mundo. Las tumbas están pintadas de diversos colores en tonalidades fuertes. Colorido sin igual. Solo en Guatemala. #PostalesGT #Retoinstagrampl #QuePeladoGuate #prensa_libre #Guatemala #mundochapin #milugarfavoritopl #picoftheday #perhapsyouneedalittleguatemala #guatevision_tv #gtmagica #visitGuatemala #QuebonitaGuate #QuéBuenoEsMiPaís #soy502 #folklore #民間伝承 #민속학 #фольклор #التراث الشعبي #mayan #chichicastenango #quiche #cementary #afterlife
In Chichicastenango, the Popol Vuh was discovered, the sacred text that documents the creation of humanity according to the Mayan vision, in the eighteenth century and until this day is part of the beliefs and practices of the area.
The cemetery is undoubtedly one of the unique places in the world, with its vibrant and striking colors. But it is certainly a place of a full respect that seeks to honor the lives of those who are dead and seeks to approach us.