Chichicastenango, also known as Santo Tomás Chichicastenango, is a town in the El Quiché department of Guatemala, and is the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name. It is located in a mountainous region about 140 km (87 mi) northwest of Guatemala City.
Chichicastenango hosts market days on Thursdays and Sundays where vendors sell handicrafts, food, flowers, pottery, wooden boxes, condiments, medicinal plants, candles, pom and copal (traditional incense), cal (lime stones for preparing tortillas), grindstones, pigs and chickens, machetes, and other tools.
Among the items sold are textiles, particularly women's blouses. Masks used by dancers in traditional dances, such as the Dance of the Conquest, are also manufactured in Chichicastenango.
Next to the market is the 400-year-old church of Santo Tomás. It is built atop a Pre-Columbian temple platform, and the steps originally leading to a temple of the pre-Hispanic Maya civilization remain venerated. K'iche' Maya priests still use the church for their rituals, burning incense and candles. In special cases, they burn a chicken for the gods. Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Maya calendar year.