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Mayan Pole Flyer Dancing or El Baile del Palo Volador 2018

Stunning air dancers resemble circus acrobats, but in fact,​ this is a part of Guatemala's ancient Mayan cultural heritage

Mayan Pole Flyer Dancing or El Baile del Palo Volador in Guatemala - Best Time
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© Christopher Ovalle

Thanks to the indigenous populations of Guatemala, its cultural heritage has survived ages and today one may still witness traditional Mayan pole flyer dancing—known in Spanish as "El Baile del Palo Volador." The stunning and bizarre show is performed by a pair of flyers dressed in vivid traditional costumes. The dancers spin around a 30 m high wooden pole hanging from ropes and strike various poses mid-air as the ropes gradually lower them to the ground. This ritual dance is performed during the major religious festivals celebrating patron saints, in particular in Quiché department it is observed on August 15 which is the Day of Assumption. In Chichicastenango, it takes place around the feast of Saint Tomas between December 13 and 21. Finally,​ you can also find it in Cubulco in Baja Verapaz during the feast of Saint Santiago on July 26.

The Palo Volador
The Palo Volador
Joyabaj, Quiche, the Palo Volador
Joyabaj, Quiche, the Palo Volador

Mayan Pole Flyer Dancing or El Baile del Palo Volador Map & Location

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