Archive for ‘Rituals’

January 8, 2012

New Church Announcement

They came by at 6am this morning, rockets and all. The procession wound through town, past all the other churches for a blessing, then returned to our street about 1pm.

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The new church in our neighborhood opened its doors today and this is the formal announcement, followed by the man with the black collection box.  If you open your door to watch, you are expected to make a donation.

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December 9, 2011

Virgen de Guadalupe

Last night was the 6th Novena for the Guadalupe in our neighborhood. Each day more people come and live music arrived on the fourth Novena. (Video below)

Don’t let the peacefulness of it fool you or make you nostalgic for simpler times because once it got started, about 30 boys under 12 showed up.

Half of them went down into the arroyo behind me to play soccer and yell, lighting sparklers that caused a raging bonfire, causing every rooftop dog to bark like crazy while everyone recited prayers and sang and ignored the cacophony.

The rest of the boys stood in front of me pushing and shoving each other around for fun, their mothers slapping at them as they ducked away. By the end of the night, it was almost an old time religious revival with people singing, clapping and dancing, every bit of it heartfelt with love.


These novenas are a crescendo building toward the big party they have at the end, you can feel it coming.

If it’s anything like last year’s party on the 12th, it’s going to be fun, locos and all.

© 2011 Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art

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 

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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.
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And the slideshow

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April 22, 2011

Good Friday Processions

Good Friday procession photos – Click on the photo to view the slideshow

Good Friday Procession

© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2011
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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
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April 15, 2011

Viernes de Dolores

Viernes de Dolores, Friday of sorrows, the day that altars are built to honor Mary’s pain. Our neighbor constructed this beautiful altar this morning and is serving drinks and snacks to everyone who comes by today to visit.
Viernes de Dolores Altar
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April 14, 2011

Semana Santa Pilgrimage

Two sunday’s before Easter, Sr. de la Columna, the Virgin of Dolores and San Juan are removed from their places in the santuario, wrapped in silk scarves, covered, then carried in an all night pilgrimage to San Miguel for the upcoming Semana Santa celebrations and processions.

Last Saturday night, my friend Elvia, her son and daughter Roberto and Karen and I accompanied the statues from the church courtyard to San Miguel along with about 20,000 other pilgrims.

Beto and Elvia

We arrived in the plaza at about 11:30 and waited for the ‘Imagenes’ to appear. At midnight, the bells rang, banners and luminarias were brought forth and the three Imagenes, carried on litters, came out of the church.

Atotonilco, the saints lowered while mass is said

A short mass was projected over a loud speaker and the procession began following the route through el Cotijo, to the capilla on the  highway for a 3am mass, proceeding to a small pueblo whose people had decorated the entry with a carpet of flowers and sawdust images with arches of palm and large paper flowers.

The participants were varied – elderly men and women, very very old people being held up between two family members, babies carried in arms and strollers, teenagers, adults, groups of men in white hats leading song, women who walked the entire route, 8 hours, all night, in bare feet.

Midnight in the plaza at Atotonilco

Karen and Gisela, 3 am across from the chapel

After the rosay the procession wound it’s way, accompanied by singing to the top of Avenida Independencia where we were greeted with fireworks, and a mile of decorated street. People poured in from everywhere to watch the unveiling and procession to the San Juan de Dios Church at dawn.

© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2011
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December 13, 2010

2010 Virgin Guadalupe Video

December 12, 2010 – the celebration for the Virgen de Guadalupe.  The celebrations started a few blocks down from our house where several new altars were built this year and a pilgrimage began on foot and in trucks, making their way to the San Antonio church where they met up with thousands of other pilgrims.

The scene at the San Antonio church was impressive with the bell ringers going wild, rockets going off and a line up of pilgrims that wrapped around the church plaza, down the street and spilling onto the Ancha de San Antonio, stopping traffic.  All along the way, people were singing, praying, arriving on horseback from the ranchos, each individual, family or community carrying a flag, a photo, a statue, even a folding table with the image of the virgin and setting their toddlers, dressed up as Juan Diego in front of the images to be photographed.

© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2010
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December 12, 2010

Virgin of Guadalupe

Today is the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day.
December 12th.
Last night, two streets down, our neighbors held the last novena for the Guadalupe and sang songs to her from 7PM until… well, they are still singing.  I awoke several times during the night to the songs La Guadalupana, Paloma Blanca and las Mananitas.  At six the rockets and fireworks took over and from the terraza you could see sparks of light and smoke and listen to some of the songs from last year’s videos below.

Today’s post is yet to be completed, but here’s what’s been happening the last few weeks.

Altars around town have been being cleaned, repainted and decorated.  This year, neighbors down the hill built a new altar which sat unfinished for many months, most likely waiting for the funds to complete it for this day.  (photos to come)

Further down, there’s a Virgin painted on a wall.  Wednesday she looked like this, and later I’ll have a photo os what she looks like today.

Throughout the week there have been live enactments by children in centro.
In our own neighborhood, two blocks down, there have been novenas and singing every night.

Yesterday, most of the altars were still undecorated except for a few red pointsettas, candles and pots of flowers.

and the flower stalls are geared up for the major altar building that will be completed today.

Every public and private altar will be decorated, every mariachi and singer in town will be visiting the altars to pay homage.

If you want a feel for what it’s like, look at the link at the top of this post

© Dos Mujeres Mexican Folk Art 2010
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