By BBN Staff: The 50th Benque Viejo Fiesta is both cultural and religious in origin. Being celebrated this weekend, it is the official veneration of the patron saint of the town, Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
The commemoration begins with a solemn religious celebration – Las Alboradas. The loud bells signal the daily early morning service leading up to the 16th of July, the day of the patron saint. Each day a member from different families hosts a mass ceremony for the patron saint. After the 4am mass, the congregation is invited to the host’s home. They are treated to a snack consisting of traditional bollos “small tamales”, cake, coffee and/or hot chocolate. As the ceremonies come to an end, beautiful lights illuminate the sky with a dazzling firework display and the marimba band playing in the background.
La Senorita Flor de la Feria has been crowned annually since 1967 and brings the most beautiful young women of the area together in competition.
The rest of the weekend is marked by football tournaments and dances with top local bands and visitors from Mexico and Guatemala.
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