Culture

LA FIESTA GRANDE DE CHIAPA DE CORZO

The Parachicos in the traditional festival of January in Chiapa de Corzo is cataloged as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The traditional Fiesta Grande de Chiapa de Corzo takes place from January 8 to 23 each year in this small town one-hour from San Cristobal de Las Casas. Music, dance, crafts, gastronomy, religious ceremonies and entertainment are part of this festivity in honor of Our Lord of Esquipulas and two saints of Catholicism, San Antonio Abad and San Sebastián Mártir, the latter being especially honored as the patron saint of the parachicos. The dances of the parachicos – a term used to designate the dancers and the type of dance they perform – are considered a collective offering to the venerated saints. The Parade of the Parachicos move throughout the town carrying the holy images and visiting various places of worship, and their dances begin in the morning and end at night. With sculpted wooden masks, headdresses with monteras and dresses with serapes, embroidered shawls and colored ribbons, the dancers play tinplate rattles called “chinchines”. They are led by a patron bearer of a severe expression mask, a guitar and a whip, who plays the flute accompanied by one or two drummers.

Dance is transmitted and learned at the same time it is performed: children who participate in it imitate the movements of adults. The manufacturing technique of the masks is transmitted from generation to generation, from the felling and drying of the wood to manufacturing and the final ornamentation.

Calendar of la Fiesta Grande de Chiapa de Corzo: from January 8 to 23.

  • January 8: Announcement of the Big Festival and the first day of Chuntá.
  • January 15: Lord of Esquipulas. (Parade of the Parachicos)
  • January 16: Announcement of the Fiesta de San Sebastián Mártir.
  • January 17: San Antonio Abad. (Parade of the Parachicos)
  • January 18: Parachicos visit to deceased patrons to the municipal pantheon. (Parade of the Parachicos)
  • January 19: Traditional announcement of la Fiesta Grande de Chiapa by the municipal president.
  • January 20: San Sebastian Martyr Day. (Parade of the Parachicos & Chiapanecas)
  • January 21: Simulation of the Naval Combat on the Grijalva River.
  • January 22 Parade of Allegorical cars.
  • January 23: Final Mass. (Parade of the Parachicos & Chiapanecas)