Posted 5 September, 2014 by Ministry of Culture and Sports in News

5 September National Day of Quetzal

The 5 September National Day commemorates the Quetzal, national symbol as established in Decree No. 33 the 18 November 1871, where he was declared as National Bird of Guatemala. The quetzal is known for its long feathers. The tail feathers of the male measure up 90 centimeters while the female lacks them and peak.

Today the Quetzal is much more than the National Bird, part of the national currency, same that bears his name; also excels in the national emblem of Guatemala.

Indiana bird that lives in your coat ... and hopefully he will fly ...”, stanzas of the National Anthem which also form part of the bird, therefore it is a representative symbol for Guatemala, species is also endangered.

In the past, this species was considered divine by the Mayans. The Aztecs believed that this bird was the "God of Air" and saw it as a symbol of goodness and light. Its long tail feathers full of green was worshiped symbolically in the spring to plant growth. Vice ecosystem located at the top of the mountains, including cloud forests.

The Quetzal, his chest and belly is red, tells the story that when the Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado fought the Quiché king "Tecum Uman" mortally wounded the latter in the abdomen, the bird came down and landed on the wound, marking on its chest deep crimson red. Its beautiful colors cover your body with a green feather accompanied by blue reflections that can turn to violet.

One of the highest honors that delivers the Government of Guatemala is named "Order of the Quetzal", established in the year of 1936 by the then President of the Republic, Jorge Ubico. This order establishes six degrees: Grand Collar, Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Comendador, Officer and a Gentleman; and is given in recognition of the artistic work, civic, humanitarian, cultural, educational, scientific and policy worthy of the highest official of the Government of Guatemala signaling.

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Ministry of Culture and Sports

Department of Communication and Cultural Diffusion