The Accention of the Virgin Mary is a grandiose celebration that brings all the streets of Quetzaltenango’s historical center to life. You can find drawings on the ground in sumptuous colors, and sounds that cross and explode in a fierce competition of firecrackers, brass bands, instruments, boots slamming on the concrete, and the joyful jingling of the Marimbas (the national instrument of Guatemala, which brings a touch of lightness to the solemnity of the parade). There are indigenous faces whose soft and sweet features swear in rigid European-style costumes, offering a beautiful juxtaposition between the tones of their skin and hair brushing up against the bright colors of the costumes from which an unexpected harmony is born. You’ll find sparkling metal instruments, shimmering synthetic fabrics, and heavy velvet skirts embroidered in yellow and red. We no longer know who to look at; who is marching and who has come to watch the parade. We can’t break our gaze from the dignified and magnificent women, whose huge checkered aprons spread over their wide skirts with numerous folds, and hair impeccably braided with pink and blue ribbons, amongst tiny silhouettes of rag dolls under the multicolored umbrellas. Their husbands are found in hats, checkered shirts, and pointed shoes in well waxed leather.
In this hubbub and crowd, we are nothing but the dizzy receiver of a cascade of invasive visual and auditory sensations that, in their profusion and density, make us forget who and where we are at times.