The San Francisco de Asis festival – in Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala – is held over a period of days in early October, with the main day celebrations on the 4th.
This festival celebrates Saint Francis of Assisi – as most Guatemalans today are Catholic. And while performers’ masks are distinctively European, the local Maya also infuse their own traditions and colors into this ceremony.
I was staying some months on the opposite side of the Lake Atitlan in the town of San Pedro. But I came over for the main day celebrations of San Francisco de Asis.
A wild day of fireworks, carnival performances, fair-ground rides and shack stalls, and solid drinking. I stayed over, drinking long into the night with locals.