Guatemalans marked the Day of the Dead with a traditional kite-flying festival in Santiago Sacatepequez on Friday.

To honour the dead, locals clad in colourful garments flock to Sacatepequez cemetery on November 1 each year, where they fly giant kites that are made of fabric and paper and are fastened on bamboo frames.

Giant kites are believed to be so-called mediators, carrying messages to the departed family members and friends.

According to the 'Queen of the Giant Kites' Olga Marina Tuyuc, the tradition of flying giant kites on the Day of the Dead is part of the "cultural heritage of our beautiful Santiago Sacatepequez," which "dates back to 1899."

During the Day of the Dead celebrations, residents also clean up graves of their deceased relatives and place flower offerings.

SOT, Olga Marina Tuyuc, 'Queen of the Giant Kites' (Spanish): "Every year, this activity is done because it is the cultural heritage of our beautiful Santiago Sacatepequez. This tradition dates back to 1899, with young people and children making kites six months prior to [the Day of the Dead]. They make them with wrapping paper and nylon. They make them before, so that they can be displayed on this day."

SOT, Olga Marina Tuyuc, 'Queen of the Giant Kites' (Spanish): "Sometimes they contain messages about the environment, sometimes about our culture, our traditions. Each group has its own message."

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