In Chiapas culture manifests itself in many ways, such as in the gastronomy or murals, in the stories that parents tell their children, and in the unique way of life of some communities. But today we want to talk about their festivities. Because through these “small universes” the traditions of the people of Chiapas reflect their most vivid expression. The festivities are as diverse as their original peoples and as firm as their roots, still unshakable by the passage of time.
We give you in the following lines more information about some events for you to have a clear idea of the cultural richness alive in Chiapas. But we also give you dates as well as distances to plan your next trip and not only do tourism in Chiapas but also enjoy as a local.
“FIESTA GRANDE DE CHIAPA DE CORZO” & THE “DANZA DE LOS PARACHICOS”.
The “Danza de los Parachicos” is an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This custom is part of the “Fiesta Grande de Chiapa de Corzo” (January 4-23 annually), which represents the celebration of mestizo integration. With colorful costumes and fine masks carved in wood, the parachicos transform the streets into rivers of color and joy. Dancing, singing, and throwing cheers to Catholic saints. These characters carry the spirit of their festivity to every corner of this Magical Town. Chiapa de Corzo is located 15 km from Tuxtla Gutierrez.
ZOQUE COITECO CARNIVAL OF CHIAPAS CULTURE
It is the most popular celebration of Ocozocoautla (36 km from Tuxtla Gutierrez) and one of the most representative of the state. The carnival fuses elements of the Zoque ethnic group, the Catholic religion, and the traditions linked to the cycle of Moors and Christians, giving rise to a party that takes place between noise and devotion, which is distinguished by the generosity towards locals and visitors. To the rhythm of the reed flute and drum, the intercession of Tajaj Jamá or “Father Sun” is requested to obtain good harvests. It is important that the carnivals are celebrated before the Christian Lent, with a variable date between February and March.
CORPUS CHRISTI OF SUCHIAPA
Every year, on the day of Corpus Christi, Suchiapa is painted yellow, the color carried by the dancers who, dressed in costumes that simulate tiger skin, take to the streets to revive an ancestral tradition resulting from religious syncretism. In this celebration, various dances are staged, such as the “Danza del Calalá” and others involving characters such as “El Gigante”, “El Gigantillo” and “Los Tigres”. The musicians play more than 30 mysteries or sones in this celebration. Suchiapa is located 19 km from Tuxtla Gutierrez and the Corpus Christi celebration takes place between May and June (variable date).
SAN JUAN CHAMULA CARNIVAL OF CHIAPAS CULTURE
The mysticism of the Chiapas cultures is manifested in the most traditional celebration of this Tsotsil community, with the Kinta-Jimultik or “New Fire”, in which Catholic elements are combined with pagan rites. This festivity evokes mythical episodes from the sacred book of the ancient Maya, the Popol Vuh, in its liturgy, its dances, the costumes of the actors, among others. Characters such as the “mashes” or “monkey men” participate, whose attitude and appearance provoke fascination among visitors. San Juan Chamula is located 10 km from San Cristobal de Las Casas.
TENEJAPA CARNIVAL OF CHIAPAS CULTURE
One of the most colorful traditions of Tenejapa is the carnival celebration. It is an ancestral manifestation where once again Christian values are mixed in syncretic harmony with the ancient rituals of the Tseltal people in a ritual to ask for the fertility of the land and good harvests. One of the most important days of the festival is Thursday, when the “alféreces”, who are in charge of carrying the flags, wear their colorful red attire, giving life and color to this festivity. Tenejapa is located 29 km from San Cristóbal de Las Casas.