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In the traditional Tz'utujil-Maya town of Santiago Atitlán, in the highlands of Guatemala, ancient rituals are conducted throughout the year, especially in the cofradía or confraternity houses, where images of both Christian saints and old Maya gods are kept. But they reach a climax of intense activity during Easter Week. For the Maya this is a five day festival — all over by Saturday morning — and a period which is also the five "dangerous days" of the ancient Maya calendar.

During ceremonies a confraternity house fills with copal smoke.