Maximon In Photos: Mayan Celebrate Saint Of Wisdom, Cigars And Booze
MAXIMON is Anorak’s kind of saint. He loves smoking and drinking. And he loves cash. In Guatemala’s highlands, the saint is celebrated on October 28. At the party, the faithful donate booze, cigars and fizzy drinks.
* Maximon symbolizes chthonic male sexual power. As an “opener of the way,” his feast day falls at the onset of the fertile rainy season, but except for that day, his darker aspect leads his devotees to carefully guard his visage from public view, for fear that his sexuality may run rampant. Primarily a bringer of rain and fertility, he is sometimes also called “the saint of gamblers and drunkards.” He brings wealth and worldly success to those who venerate him.
* From that time on Maximon became the scourge of all adulterers in Santiago. It is said that Maximon appears to lecherous men as a beautiful, seductive ladina woman; and at the moment of sexual consummation he resumes his usual form and laughs in the adulterer’s face, and drives him crazy or kills him. It is also said that Maximon is motivated not so much by concern for public morality as he is by jealousy: he seeks to keep the women of Santiago pure for his own personal use.
A “spiritual guide,” left, spits alcohol at a worshiper’s open mouth to perform a spiritual cleansing during the celebrations of Maximon in San Andres Itzapa, Guatemala, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. Unlike other traditional benevolent saints in Latin America, Maximon, who at times looks more like a bandit than a saint, can grant both good and evil requests.
A prostitute stands next to an statue of Maximon, a pagan saint believed to provide richness and protection to its believers, in her rented room on a street called in Spanish “La Linea,” or “The Strip,” where dozens of women work as prostitutes in Guatemala City.
A worshipper prays in front of several statues depicting folk saint Maximon
Believers line up to pay their respects to an image of Maximon, a pagan saint venerated mostly by the Mayan Indian communities, in Zunil, 190 km west from Guatemala City.
Worshippers listen to a Mexican norteno music band outside the chapel of folk saint Maximon in San Andres Itzapa, Guatemala.
Statues of folk saint Maximon sit in front of an image of Saint Judas Thaddeus, top, inside the chapel of Maximon in San Andres Xecul. Maximon dresses elegantly and will always be seen wearing a smart hat, holding his cane and sporting a moustache. Maximon or San Simon, whose real origins are a mystery, is the most venerated folk saint in the Maya highlands of Guatemala.
A woman prays as a procession of Saint Judas Thaddeus passes in front of her house during the celebrations of Maximon in San Andres Xecul, Guatemala, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. Thousands of faithful make the yearly pilgrimage to one of his most popular shrines in the town of San Andres Xecul to thank and pay their respects to Maximon, this mischievous looking saint whose roots are a confusing blend of pre-Hispanic beliefs and Christian rituals.
Worshipper carries the statue of Maximon.
Worshippers visit the chapel of folk saint Maximon in San Andres Itzapa, Guatemala.
Worshippers pray to folk saint Maximon during a ceremony in San Andres Xecul, Guatemala.