Festival of Santa Cruz

Festival of Santa Cruz in the Valle del Maiz, San Miguel de Allende – a week long celebration of Santa Cruz, a religious and Indian/pagan ritual and ceremony time.

An altar placed at the entrance of Valle del Maiz, where celebration begins at 4 am with the Alborrada — non-stop fireworks from 4 until 8am, starting off the ceremonies, parades, religious services, dances and games.

Callejon Valle del Maiz – replica of ancient painting at the entrance to the town. The street is heavily decorated with plastic cut design flags, banners made from colorful drinking straws and decorations made from palm, paper flowers and greenery.

Honorary ‘caminoneta’ with shrine to santa cruz, decorated in shiny fabric, netting, flowers and paraded through the town.

Archway entry to the church/town with arrangemets made from the inner stalk of a certain type of palm. At the church there are large xuchiles, made from the same material & decorated with flowers.

As you enter the plaza area it is filled with people, dancers, music and these large mojigangas – greater than life size puppets that are worn over the body in the daily parades.

‘La Nueva Era’ a covered truck that holds the ‘castillo’ firework towers that will be fired off in the evening.

close up of the workings of a castillo — firecracker like fireworks that are woven together over towers of palm/rattan that stand about 50 feet tall and give off about an hour of spinning fire showers.

More Mojigangas plus three smaller pancho puppets. The large figure’s eyes can be manipulated to open and close.

Skeleton woman and woman of the night

la Bruja

The banda, getting ready to bring on the cross dresser dancing!

Waiting for the next dance — eating gorditas & carnitas.

There isn’t a lot of food here, but there is cotton candy

Young chichemeca dancer

Young woman, Chichemeca dancer, between dances in her painted robes.

Another decorated truck — back from the parade

Just when you want to think this is a serious religious, historical, traditional fiesta, this afternoon dance – all men dressed as women – and I have to say that there were some pretty good women imitators in this group, you could hardly tell who was a woman and who was a man.

The conga line

As soon as the dancing was done, they brought out the greased pigs in plastic bags. This boy was enamored with this baby piglet, and opened the bag so we could have a peek.

and the winner is??? one of our best cross dressers!

Dancer’s hats against a rock wall

It’s easier to hand food down than to go around

Chichemeca traditonal dances – thundering rhythmic drums, and all the dancers are in a trance.

From the youngest boy, about 5 years old…

To the serious young men..

Tired, resting dancers..

and women..

Most striking was the painting on this man’s face..

Parade of youthful boys in Spanish dress

Zuchiles at the entrance to the church.. and cotton candy

Getting ready for the evening comparsas, where actors put on morality plays before the fireworks. Note the stage set, with santa cruz altar in front and a large painting with a paper mache dove sticking out of the front of it.

The exit arch — popote (drinking straw decorations) criss crossing the street, the cross and palm arch

One final discarded parade mask behind an iron grate.

© All rights reserved, June 2007 , Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art


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