Guatemalans fly giant kites on Day of the Dead

STORY: Hand-made out of paper with striking designs, the gigantic kites took months to complete.

“Our grandparents told us that the tradition of the giant kites of Santiago is the day which we can see them again and the kites are to scare away the bad spirits," local resident Juan Gabriel Granados told Reuters.

To believers, the worlds between the living and the dead mesh together during this special time and people acknowledge that as they tie hand-written messages for their loved ones to the tails of kites. These messages convey to the dead in heaven that their family and friends on earth miss them and they are also intended to help spirits on their journey down from heaven to earth.

The tradition of flying kites outside cemeteries in Guatemala dates back over a century.

Guatemalans believe the kites are led by winds and guided by spirits until four o'clock in the afternoon when they come down and families meet at home to wait for the arrival of the spirits.