Entertainment and Events
Chiapa de Corzo’s biggest celebration, the Festival de San Sebastián, takes place January 8–23 every year. The festival has many facets, but the highlight are the parachicos: boys and men swathed in colorful blankets and colonial Spanish garb, carrying tin rattles and wearing wood pink-skinned masks and a huge dome of yellow “hair.”
Accompanied by women in extravagant flowered dresses carrying lacquered gourds, the parachicos dance and cavort in rowdy processions around the city center, especially on January 15, 17, 18, 20 (the biggest day), and 22. Legend has it that the festival arose after an ailing Spanish boy was cured by Saint Sebastian, and his mother threw a huge celebration para el chico (“for the boy”), from which today’s term is derived.
The San Sebastián festival is a special—and popular—time to be in Chiapa de Corzo; some visitors stay for the entire two weeks. No matter how long you plan to stay, definitely reserve your hotel well in advance; for those who don’t get a hotel room (most don’t), colectivos to and from Tuxtla run even later than usual.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition