One of the first notable sights of reaching Chichicastenango is the myriad of colours present in the multiple styles of traditional dress of the local Indians. The women wear the traditional multi-coloured Huipile (blouse) and a skirt, otherwise known as a corte, made up of the most startling of natural dyes.
At festival time the added combination of the masked and costumed dancers of the baile de la conquista, a satirising carnival pageant on the conquering of the Americas, transforms "Chichi" into a rainbow of colours that challenges the realms of the imagination.
Now imagine images of the patron saint being paraded through the streets, strong smells of incense pouring from the church, the sounds of firecrackers, rockets, drums and brass bands and your senses are stimulated as never before.
Take time to look around the market and appreciate the beautiful rugs and
textiles on sale, not to mention the copious plants, candles, pigs and chickens. The church of Santo Tomás, opposite the main market place, is the main focus of the celebrations. When you enter do not use the side doors - it is regarded as disrespectful. Even on a hot summer day, it's safe to bet that there will not be access to indoor ceiling fans. A glimpse of the church interior reveals a mix of Catholic and Amerindian culture, especially evident in the religious celebrations of the festival. In short, reserve a Christmas for Chichicastenango and you will not be disappointed.