The Celebrations of St. James’ Day

St. James

Saint James (or Santiago in Spanish) is the patron saint of La Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros de Guatemala (The Very Noble and Very Loyal City of Saint James of the Knights of Guatemala), which is today known as La Antigua, and on July 25th his memory is honored. Traditionally, on the 24th and 25th of the month, there is a big celebration at Parque Central complete with dancing, fireworks and music, but there are many more festivities than just that. In true Guatemalan fashion, Antigüeños celebrate the whole month of July! The schedule of events is available this month at the city’s public relations (Relaciones Públicas) office on the ground floor of City Hall, but Qué Pasa managed to get a sneak peak. So, here is a schedule of some of the more popular activities that will take place this July.*

For art lovers, there is an exhibit of paintings and crafts at the Claustro de Capuchinas on the 6th at 7 PM; and all day on the 7th, the IV Outdoor Festival of Drawing and Painting will take place in Parque Central.

If you enjoy the ballet, don’t miss the performance which will be held in the Claustro de Capuchinas on the 7th at 7 PM, presented under the auspices of CNPAG.

For those who like to break a sweat or cheer on competitors, there will be a family cycle ride on the 8th departing from Parque Central at 9 AM, and Las Rosas Half Marathon will be departing and returning to Parque Central on the 15th.

The XXIX Annual Book Fair will take place through the 12th to the 29th in Parque Central.

For music lovers, there will be a marimba concert on the 8th; a night of jazz at Convento de Capuchinas on the 13th at 8 PM; and the Sinfónica Nacional will perform on the 20th at 8 PM in Iglesia de San Francisco. On the 21st at 7 PM, the Festival of Choirs will take place in Parque Central, and there will be a baroque music concert at the Monumento de San José el Viejo on the 27th at 8 PM.

Distinguished Antigüeños will be on honored by the city on the 24th at 7 PM in the Salón Mayor at the Palacio del Ayuntamiento (City Hall).

Beauty pageant aficionados will be able to enjoy the Miss Antigua Beauty Contest. On the 7th, contestants will take part in a fashion show, and on the 8th there will be a special event where the young ladies will dress in outfits from the colonial period. On the 13th, the main event will be held at the César Brañas Cultural Center. The newly crowned Miss Antigua will enjoy a party in her honor on the 20th, and will also take part in the parade on the 25th. **

On the 25th, the main events will include a special mass at 8 AM held in honor of St. James at San José Catedral. A parade will step off at 9 AM from Gasolinera Morjan, going to the Estadio Municipal Pensativo, where there the Copa Santiago Interaldeas will be held at 12:30 PM. At 2 PM, a marimba concert and the Baile de Gigantes will take place in Parque Central.

For more information, visit Qué Pasa’s Facebook page for updates on events, as well as our online calendar at for a complete list of activities.

** A very special thank you to Mrs. Sandra Amado Molina de Vivar, the wife of the Mayor of Antigua Guatemala. She kindly met with Qué Pasa and provided this information.

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