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For the second year in a row, Tahmek’s balloon festival is socially distanced

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The municipality of Tahmek celebrated the day of San Lorenzo’s and the Virgin of Asuncion, just as they have for the past 13 years  — by releasing hot air paper balloons.

On August 10, the town’s night sky was illuminated with the massive release of handmade balloons. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, for the second year in a row, the balloons were launched from people’s doorways.

Photos from the Tahmek balloon festival, in 2019. Photo: Courtesy

Although the tradition has been celebrated for over 13 years, the municipality started to promote the event as a festival in 2019. The first edition brought together thousands of tourists and visitors to the community. But this year, once again, Tahmek opted to celebrate at a distance.

Family in Tahmek, releasing a balloon. Photo: Courtesy

In the activities that took place in the atrium of the church, the maximum capacity allowed was 50%.

The celebrations in honor of San Lorenzo began with the lighting of fireworks from the guild that bears the saint’s name.

At 10 p.m., artisans belonging to a collective called Nueva Era went to one side of the church to show their devotion to their patron saint.

Fernando Cetz Aké, a member of the artisan group, noted that in the 13 years that they have been holding this tradition they have sought to improve the design of their balloons.

He indicated that, on this occasion, the group created a balloon that measured a little more than six meters in height, with the placement of 120 lanterns. 

Balloon made by the artisan group Nueva Era, honoring the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Courtesy

The balloon had the image of San Lorenzo Mártir, the main church, and a heart, in honor to the people who have passed away from the coronavirus pandemic.

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