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Parachico dancers

The Parachico or Parachicos are traditional dancers from Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas, Mexico, who dance on the streets of the town during the Great Feast festivity, which takes place from January 4 to 22 every year. The festivity takes place in honor of the local patron saints Our Lord of Esquipulas, Saint Anthony Abbot and Saint Sebastian. Others attribute the festival in honour, stemming from the name "para chico", translated to for (the) boy, of a story of a sick Spanish boy of wealthy parents, who was cured by an old local healer; after his recovery the grateful parents honoured the town with a feast and holiday. It is claimed locally, as many of the Catholic festivals are, in Latin America, to have its roots in the much older indigenous culture. So it has developed into a hybrid of old indigenous culture and newer Catholic and Spanish cultures. The church where the festival concludes is home to an old tree, which is said to represent the "tree of life" (drawing on Maya and other pre-hispanic Latin American cultures), which is claimed locally to predate the church, which would suggest that this site was used for ceremonies before the arrival of Catholicism. Honouring the mother of the cured boy (for the feast) is also locally explained, why on certain nights during the festival, the town's men dress as women and parade through the streets.

The festivities, which include Roman Catholic religious ceremonies, music, dancing and local cuisine, have been included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists on November 16, 2010, listed as "Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo".[1]


Parachicos on the streets
Parachicos dancing on the streets of Chiapa de Corzo

Parachicos wear wooden masks with Caucasian features, such as light skin, facial hair and blue eyes, in contrast to Native people's features. They also wear a round headdress, colorful ribbons, striped serapes, embroidered shawls, usually over black or dark shirt and trousers. Parachicos use metallic rattles locally known as chinchin or chinchines, with colorful ribbons attached to the top and/or handles, which are shaken as they dance and chant.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo". UNESCO Culture Sector. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 

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