On Monday, Feb. 21st, the Tzotzil Maya community in Chiapas, México kicked off celebrations for Xaiking which, according to the Mayan calendar, is the shortest month and marks the end of the period of rest and the beginning of the agricultural cycle.
Indigenous beliefs blended with Catholicism were evident in the celebrations and prayers in the town of Chenalhó in Chiapas.
On the occasion, parishioners took the statue of Jesus of Nazarene out of St. Peter’s church for a procession to ask for peace and tranquility in the world.
“Before the climatic effects were much more intense, this marked the close of the ‘cocochas,’ the period of rest, and they began the other cycle. This is associated with the agricultural cycle, with that of the carnival,” said anthropologist Enrique Pérez López.
Men and women carried the statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus on their shoulders amid incense, traditional music, and flags symbolizing the elements of nature, while “pashiones” – spiritual leaders – jumped as high as they could to please the spirit.
Dozens of characters took part in this festivity that converts the town into a stage with scenes from daily life that make children and adults laugh.