Guelaguetza

The great party of Oaxaca

The word "guelaguetza" derives from the Zapoteco guendalizaa, which means "to cooperate", but in its broader conception it is an attitude, a quality with which it is born, a feeling through which Zapotec loves its fellow man, a feeling of Brotherhood, to share nature and life.

On Mondays in Oaxaca we dance on the hill. They are the feasts, tributes and rituals that, since pre-Hispanic times, are made in honor of Centeotl, divinity of corn and nature, and Xilonen, goddess of tender corn. The ancient Zapotecs offered human sacrifices, songs and dances on the top of Guardian hill, which at that time was known as "Tani Lao" or Hill of the Beautiful View.

During the Conquest, the evangelizers instituted the feast of the Virgin of Carmen, matching the dates and prohibiting them to be held on Sunday. Therefore, the celebration takes place the nexto  two Mondays after July 16.

In 1932, as part of the celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the city of Oaxaca, the Guelaguetza acquired its current format. In the celebrations, groups representing the eight traditional regions of Oaxaca participate: the Central Valleys, the Juarez Mountain Range (North), the Cañada, Tuxtepec, the Mixteca, the Coast, the South Mountain Range and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Each one of them shows its cultural patrimony through dances, songs, music and its characteristic clothing.

The party begins with the presentation of the goddess Centeotl and is followed by a great number of dances such as: Jarabe del Valle, Compadrazgo Tecoalteco, Solagueña Wedding, The Tabavalera Party, Sones Miahuatecos, Mitleño Fandango, Jarabe Mixteco and many more.

In addition, during the two weeks of celebration there are gastronomic and craft samples, exhibitions, concerts and various cultural events.

Visit: www.viveoaxaca.org