Indigenous Mexicans celebrate festival in honor of San Lorenzo

By Mitzi Mayauel Fuentes

Zinacantán, Mexico, Aug 9 (EFE).- Hundreds of Tzotzil Mayans participated in a religious festival on Tuesday in honor of San Lorenzo, patron saint of the municipality of Zinacantán, in Mexico’s southeastern state of Chiapas on the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Dressed in their ceremonial costumes, they danced to the rhythm of the whistle (wooden flute) and the drum as a symbol of harmony with the universe, deities and the saints who protect them.

For decades, the indigenous peoples have gathered for this festivity and on Tuesday the municipal authorities of Zinacantán received as special guests the authorities of San Juan Chamula, San Cristóbal and San Lucas to endorse peace and unity.

Mariano Sánchez, municipal president of Zinacantán, told EFE that he is proud to belong to and lead a Mayan town and explained that this festivity is an ancestral custom between communities.

“These are meetings that we hold every year to celebrate the eve of the feast of San Lorenzo, so we ask for peace, that everything be joyous – we don’t want problems,” the official said.

These traditions attract tourists and visitors from different municipalities of Chiapas, other states of Mexico and even other countries. They bring flowers, traditional drinks, wind instruments, candles and fireworks as offerings to San Lorenzo.

José Pérez, an indigenous Tzotzil and resident of Zinacantán, said “this is a place that perhaps many people do not know, but there are very firm and deep roots that continue to be preserved among these towns.”

“They are magical towns, unique, with different customs, but they become one in this party,” he added.

Ramiro Hernández, a resident of San Juan Chamula, said these traditions and festivals “are a legacy left by our ancestors.

“It is the history they left us and we must take care of it and teach it to our children,” he said.

The ritual began Tuesday morning with prayers, a dance and a mass, and will end with a horse race to cheer up the town and the patron saint. EFE


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