Archive for ‘Festivals’

September 28, 2011

Festival of San Miguel

Pilgrimage of San Miguel to the Parroquia to be blessed for the upcoming town celebration – The Festival of San Miguel 

[vimeo 29683174]
This Weekend’s Festivities:
Midnight Friday:  Procession of the estrellas to the Parroquia for las mañanitas
4 a.m Saturday:  The Alborada and fireworks in the Jardin
2 p.m Saturday: Parade of los monos to the Jardin to be blown up
5 p.m Saturday:  The procession of the Xúchiles and dancers
9:30 – 10 p.m Saturday night: Castillo fireworks in the Jardin
11 a.m. Sunday: The big parade of dancers up Zacateros, around town and to the Jardin
9:30 – 10 p.m Saturday night: Castillo fireworks in the Jardin

Throughout the day the Voladores perform in front of the Parroquia

July 5, 2011

Locos Parade

Every June in San Miguel de Allende, they celebrate the feast day of San Antonio de Padua with first, Rockets beginning at about 4am, followed by religious processions and masses and a full size carnival with lots of kiddie rides, ending a week later with the Locos Liturgy and Parade.

Ten years ago this parade lasted about twenty minutes and was a rag tag group of neighborhood youth dresses as indians, pirates, skeletons.. all the typical characters.

It has grown into a full blown thanksgiving style parade with whole neighborhoods spending the entire year creating colorful elaborate costumes around a theme.

They say about 10,000 people participate in it now.  They begin about a mile and a half outside of the center of town, ending up in the Jardin (the town plaza) to dance and have some fun. The parade itself takes a good couple of hours or more to loop through the town.

Here’s a video of parts from this year’s parade.
[vimeo 25984655]

And the slideshow

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April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, 2011
Click on the photo to view a slideshow from our other blog:

Palm Sunday Procession click on photo to view the slideshow

© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2011

November 2, 2010

Dia de Los Muertos 2010

Here’s a photo slideshow of this year’s dia de los muertos celebration in San Miguel de Allende.

Click on the photo to view the slideshow on our other blog:

Flower seller, Dia de los Muertos - click to view slideshow

© November 2010 Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

December 19, 2009

Castillo Fireworks

Click on the photo to view the slideshow and fireworks movie

Thursday night, near the mercado Ignacio Ramirez, the final event of the celebration of the Virgen de Guadalupe was held. Vendors food booths and people filled the streets. The Virgin’s altar was in full bloom, the procession of women carrying a wood nicho on a litter of flowers, and singing Buenos días, Paloma Blanca, had just arrived, followed by a lineup of followers who are served tamales and atole.

Castillo fireworks, which in this case include the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe who will be burned up in flames at the end of the evening, are being assembled in the street, roped to the surrounding buildings. It is a raggedy but self assured group of men from Guanajuato climbing around these towers, tying rockets, whistlers and vueltas. Grupo La Tuna Provinciana de San Miguel de Allende, dressed in black velvet shakespearan costume continue on from the women carrying the litter with Buenos días, Paloma Blanca, one of the many songs written for the Virgin of Guadalupe. It is song you would probably recognize, widely sung by mariachis, norteno bands, school children and women carrying statues, whenever the Virgin is present.

As the evening wears on and the crowd has had it’s share of pozole, tamales, enchiladas, gorditas, hamburgers and fries, the rockets begin. Roman candles are lit off in the middle of the street one after another from a triple iron stand, watched by it’s owner who counts the number of booms by bobbing his head and looking up in the sky after each one. The rockets are followed by the lighting of the first side of the castillo, popping and crackling as the first fuse ignites.

The banda Risuena, dressed in shiny silver suits, decked out for the occasion, begin playing a cacophany of songs and drum rolls, accompanied by trumpets, trombone, clarinets, providing music for the display. After all these years, I still don’t quite get the banda music, which in local groups include the youngest of children to the old guys who have been practicing for years but sound like they can’t hold a tune. But over time, even I can hear the difference between the local neighborhood groups and the professionals. One thing for sure though, if there is a banda, there is a party, and they are there to help it along.

CLICK ON THE PHOTO to view the movie

The photos of castillo fireworks towers don’t really do justice to the feeling they create in the street while they are going off all over the place, sending flames and paper into the crowds. Up until about three years ago, young boys, from ages five to about thirteen, were allowed to run under the falling sparks, wearing cardboard boxes over their heads and backs, a rite of passage that is no longer allowed here in San Miguel. Nevertheless, these are thrilling fireworks to watch in person, something impossible to compare to anything you’ve ever seen in the U.S. and certainly nothing you would ever be allowed to watch from 25 feet away.

Click on the photo to view the song

As for the subject of this post, Buenos días, Paloma Blanca, here is the Grupo La Tuna Provinciana singing the song, with the words to follow along below. Click on the photo to view the video.

Here’s the words, which kick in mid-song:
Buenos días, Paloma Blanca

Hoy te vengo a saludar.
Saludando tu belleza
En tu trono celestial.
Eres Madre del creador
Y a mi corazón encantas
Grácias te doy con amor
Buenos días, Paloma Blanca.

Niña linda, niña santa
Tu dulce nombre alabar.
Porque eres tan sacrosanta
Hoy te vengo a saludar.
Reluciente como el alba
Pura, sencilla y sin mancha
Qué gusto recibe mi alma!
Buenos días, Paloma Blanca.

Que linda está la mañana
El aroma de las flores.
Despiden suaves olores
Antes de romper el alba.
Mi pecho con voz ufana
Grácias te da, Madre mía
En este dichoso día
Antes de romper el alba.

Cielo azul yo te convido
En este dichoso día.
A que prestes tu hermosura
A las flores de María.
Madre mía de Guadalupe
Dáme ya tu bendición
Recibe éstas mañanitas
De un humilde corazón.

December 18, 2009

Nacimiento Babes

Every Christmas,
Markets are set up all over town,
Hundreds of stalls selling
Tree bark,
Fir boughs,
Painted clay figures,
Glittery things,
Nino Jesus dolls,
And elaborate hand made clothing
To dress him in, for his birth

Nacimentos (nativities) here in Mexico,
Are room size affairs.
They are not a little box that sits on your hearth,
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
They literally fill a whole corner or wall of the living room.

In the next posts,
I’ll go into the making of a nativity
The fabulous over the top Christmas markets here,
But for now, here are the babes of the nacimientos.

Click on the photo to view the slideshow

If you click on the photo above,
It will take you to a slideshow of these gorgeous creatures.
These dolls belong to the owners of the market booths.
They will be placed in their nativities on Christmas eve.
Some are very old, have chips and flaws,
Have been repaired.
They can be found in outfits
Ranging from nurses to the pope.

The owners of these market stalls
Have been sewing for months –
Some all year long
To bring these charming outfits to market
For you to buy for your baby Jesus.
© 2009 Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

December 12, 2009

Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe

CLICK on this photo to view the video, Virgen de Guadalupe 2009

I think the saying goes
‘Let me count the ways’
And today, the multitude of ways they honor the Guadalupe, Lupe, Lupita, beginning at midnight with fireworks and a mariachi mass.

At 7am there is a rosary at the altar down the street, with singing, praying, tamales and atole.

Every statue in town is decorated, every statue is sung and prayed to. Many are carried through the town in arms, atop taxis, in nichos, carried by four women on litters that are covered in flowers. She is placed in doorways and windows, serenaded to by norteno bands, recorded music in the markets, and the people.

Her altars are decorated in gold lamé,
Red, white and green flowers and Christmas lights.
She is made from wood, paper,
Plastic, plaster, metal, clay and sequins.
Her image is on everything from notebooks
To curtains to car windows.
She resides in everyone’s home.
They believe in her with all their hearts.

In our neighborhood
Her altar is painted on a wall, decorated with flowers, bread and food. There is a rosary and singing after which everyone dresses up in their locos costume to party, eat and dance. There’s even a greased pole with presents at the top for the children to climb.

Click on the photo below
to watch the movie of how today’s day in honor of the Virgen de Guadalupe unfolds.

CLICK on this photo to view the video -- Virgen de Guadalupe 2009

October 31, 2009

Dia de los Muertos 2009

The preparations have begun P1030956

There are flower sellers everywhere. Home altars are being created, Car repair, shoe and small tiendas Have transformed into flower shops. You can’t avoid the papel picado banners or skeletons. Although Monday is officially the day, Families are already in the cemetery Cleaning gravesites, Placing flowers Spending time together Praying.

Back in town, altars are being constructed in the Jardin P1040148

The altar above is in memory of the heroes of San Miguel.

Today, I went to the panteon –
Just a few families were there cleaning gravesites, placing flowers. Tomorrow there will be more people, and Monday even more. I will be meeting my neighbors Petra and Elvia there, With flowers for Maricela and Jesus who died this year. The family has not been to Maricela’s grave since she died. Last week, Petra told me she wouldn’t go to Maricela’s grave this year. Apparently she has had a change of heart, because today, She told me she will be going after all. Elvia is going with her five children. Together they will decorate the sepulchre where Jesus rests, But the main altar for Jesus, will be on Calle Relox At the big pink fountain near the artistan market. P1030952
Monday, the transformation of the panteon will be complete, Over the top with flowers and wall to wall people. Click on the photo below to view an album of photos Which I’ll be updating over the next few days As I visit the cemetery, my neighbor’s homes, Plus a visit to our friend Juan, who is making floral xuchiles For both Maricela and Jesus.


Click on the photo to view the slideshow

October 8, 2008

Festival of San Miguel

Festivals and rituals
Are taken VERY seriously,
Historic and religious beliefs
Are acted out in public passion plays,
The many faces and times of Mexico
Are featured in this festival
The Aztec dancers, local Indios,
Homage to San Miguel Arcangel
In the form of floats with young girls
Acting out San Miguel slaying the devil,
Baby angels all around.

The battle of the France against Mexico
Fought in the streets
The youngest to the oldest participate
And a trance is created
With three days of drumming, pounding
Dancing Singing, rockets and fireworks.
Pilgrims come by the thousands
On foot, horseback, and carried by others
To watch, participate, pray, sing,
And just have a good old time.

Here is a slide show of John’s 25 favorite photos:

Click on photo above to start the slide show

Saturday –

1PM – Chinelos in the San Juan de Dios Market
On our way into town
We ducked into the outer entrance
To the San Juan de Dios Market
We could hear a banda
Bandas are whole stories unto themselves
Groups of locals who play traditional,
Fun, lively, out of tune, almost Cacaphonic music.

Then the colorful costumes
Made of velvet, sequins and embroidery
Hats made of upside down lampshades,
Velvet with swinging strands of colorful beads
Men wrapping their heads in scarves
Dancing and jumping around
Where the tortilla ladies usually sit.

Chinelos Dancing

Chinelos Video

From the market we wandered up the streets
Which were uncharacteristically quiet
Just a few men on horseback,
A few parade people, carrying costumes
And the transito police talking to each other

1:30pm – a pilgrimage
From the ranchos outside of San Miguel
They wander in on the Salida de Queretaro
They have walked six hours
120 on horseback
1000 by foot
Waving flags and carrying altars
Singing traditional chants,
wrapped in shawls, wearing baseball hats,
carrying children.

2pm – the blowing up of the Monitos
The horses make a procession out of the Jardin
Followed by chanting pilgrims.
A pickup truck drives in, filled
With paper mache dolls, called monitos,
Or little monkeys.
They stand on a round frame
Built from bamboo.
They are decorated with……….. more to come…

The Voladores (for now, see our previous post from last year’s festival)

The Parades -Below – The slideshow of parade photos
click on the photo to begin

Slideshow of Parade Photos

The Dancers


Go to: Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art


© All rights reserved, 2008, Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

March 2, 2008

Semana Santa – Sevilla Spain

I thought I would share this Spanish site which has beautiful videos of the Semana Santa Processions this year in Spain.

Click Here to View Videos

There is a collection of videos to view on this site,
and of which are reminders of where all Mexican Catholic
religious ceremonies began, and how faithful to the old traditions
the Mexican ceremonies and passionplays have remained.

You can also browse around the site which has many photographs and stories.

For those of you who do not speak Spanish, you can translate
the working by copying and paste into for a bad but passable translation!

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

Go to: Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art