Monday, September 15, 2008

Guatemalan Independence Day!!

Today is Independence Day in Guatemala (and in most of Central America). It celebrates their independence from Spain in 1821.
I found this information on the Common Hope page.

Celebrating Independence

Independence is valued by people all over the world. In the United States, even though more than 200 years have passed since our liberation from England, we continue to mark July 4th because of the importance it holds for us.

The same is true in Guatemala. On September 15, 1821 Guatemala gained its independence from Spain. Independence Day is a national holiday and the celebrations are extensive. In the days preceding Independence Day, schools and buses are decorated with patriotic motifs in celebration. In the student assemblies they sing the national anthem. On Independence Day in Antigua school bands, consisting of drums and xylophones, march around the Central Park.

Traditionally the army of Guatemala celebrates with a protocol act and air acrobatics, usually for the audience of the President. As the day comes to a close children and adults can be seen waving small plastic Guatemalan flags in the streets and the stores are decked out in Blue and White decorations. Many Guatemalans take the opportunity to travel to more traditional tourist areas to watch celebrations.

While Guatemala is celebrating so are many other countries of Central America, because they all achieved independence together. A torch, which begins in Guatemala on the 14th, travels by relay race down the Pan American Highway to Costa Rica where it arrives on the 15th. Along the route people decorate homes and schools. Children dress up in their finest school uniforms and cheer along with the adults as the runners and the torch goes by. It is a great honor to be chosen to be a runner of the Independence Day torch. As runners cross between country borders there are cultural ceremonies with dignitaries of all the Central American countries there to honor Independence Day.

I made cookies that (sort of) look like the Guatemalan flag and some coloring folders of Guatemalan people and places for Andrew to take to daycare tomorrow.

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  1. Happy Guatemalan Independence Day!

  2. Oh Andrew is sooo handsome! Since Arianna's birthday is the day before Independence Day I hve yet to have the foresight to plan anything for it. But you have given some great ideas to steal for next year!!!