6 junio, 2024

The 10 Most Popular Traditions and Customs of Chiapas

The traditions and customs of Chiapas show that it is one of the regions of Mexico in which the aboriginal influence is greater. This can be observed in the gastronomy, in which the use of corn and potatoes abounds (ingredients widely used by the ancient indigenous communities).

Likewise, some typical dances of the region are of pre-Hispanic origin, such as the Tongoetzé, the Yomoetzé and the Nicté. In the same way, the region shows cultural elements from the populations that were introduced during the colonial period: the African and the European. The African roots can be seen in the use of the marimba.

On the other hand, the European influence can be observed in religion. Many of the festivities in the Chiapas region are religious in nature.

Celebrations are held in honor of the saints (such as the feast of San Cristóbal and the parade of saints), in honor of the dedications of the Virgin Mary (such as the day of Candelaria and the festivities of Our Lady of Guadalupe) , among other.

Featured traditions and customs of Chiapas

1- Gastronomy

The most notable characteristics of the gastronomy of Chiapas are:

Influence of aboriginal cultures in the selection and treatment of ingredients.
Culturally, gastronomy is located within the framework of Guatemalan cuisine rather than Mexican cuisine.
Use of hot chili in less quantity than in others in the country.

The traditional dishes of the Chiapas region are the nigüijute (which is prepared with pork), the pictes (which are sweet corn tamales) and the stewed chicken in fruits (which is chicken marinated in garlic, onion, cinnamon, vinegar and tomatoes).

Among the typical sweets of the region, the dulce de camote (sweet potato sweet with orange), the cocada (made with coconut, egg and sugar) stand out.

Finally, the most important drinks are the cacao well (which is a kind of corn-based chicha to which bitter cacao is added) and tascalate (with roasted cacao seeds and achiote).

2- Holy Week

During Holy Week (Easter), processions that commemorate the passion of Christ are held throughout the territory of Mexico.

The processions of San Juan Chamula, Chiapa state, are notable. These are characterized by their color.

3- Celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico. Therefore, throughout the country, celebrations are held between December 9 and 12 in honor of the Virgin.

This religious festival commemorates the encounters between a man (Diego) and the dedication of the Virgin Mary, which took place in December of the year 1531.

Thousands of Mexican aborigines are considered to have converted to Catholicism after these encounters.

Parishioners (both Mexican and from other countries) make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City to see the image of the Virgin Mary, which is kept there.

4- Feast of San Cristóbal

The festival of San Cristóbal is celebrated with greater zeal in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. It takes place in the second week of July and lasts for 10 days.

This festival is characterized by its colorful parades in which a display of fireworks, dances, marimba bands and other traditions of the Chiapas region are presented.

Like any other festivity, it is accompanied by samples of the department’s gastronomy.

5- Candlemas Day

The day of the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated nationwide on February 2. In Chiapas, the celebrations of this day include dances, processions, parades and bullfights.

Often, the festivities of the Virgin of Candelaria converge with the carnival in Chiapas. In this region, the aboriginal carnivals stand out.

6- Party of the Parachicos

The Parachicos festival is celebrated on January 6 of each year in Chiapa de Corzo. During this festivity, dances, parades, representations of naval clashes and fireworks are launched.

Also, in this festival the dance of the Parachicos is performed, which is traditional in the Chiapas region.

7- Parade of the Saints

The parade of the Saints of the city Zinacantán is one of the most outstanding. During this parade, the statues of the saints that are in the churches are taken out and paraded through the streets. The object is for the saints to observe what the situation of the world is.

The people of the city do their best to show the Saints that the world is a peaceful and happy place.

For this reason, during the procession dances and other representations are carried out or fireworks are launched, among others.

8- The marimba

The most recognized musical instrument in the state of Chiapas is the marimba. This instrument is of African origin and was introduced thanks to the slaves brought to America during the colonial era.

It was in the 20th century that the marimba became popular in the Chiapas region, thanks to the Hermanos Gómez Marimbístico Quartet (composers of “Las chiapanecas”, a distinctive song of the region).

9- Typical costume

One of the most representative costumes of the Chiapas region is the dress with a wide skirt, full of flowers of different colors, sewn with silk threads.

It is necessary to emphasize that the typical costume can vary from one area to another. However, they all have in common the use of cheerful and bright colors and elegance.

10- Dances

It is considered that the dances of Chiapas can be divided into three categories: those of pre-Hispanic origin, those of mestizo origin, and those of the colonial era.

During local festivities, you can see different dances, such as the Rascapetate, the Torito, the Chapanecas, the Carnival dance, the Tongoetzé, the Piri, the Cachito, the Nicté, the Marucha, the Dance of the Parachicos, the Aclaraban , the Yomoetzé, among others.

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