Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mexican Mardi Gras - Los Locos Parade

My USUAL Sunday morning is leisurely coffee, CBS Sunday Morning, and a lot of peace and quiet! NOT THIS SUNDAY..........it started last evening at about 5PM with the loudest music (I use that term very, very loosely). It was so loud that my windows were rattling...........lordy, it was terrible. I thought it was some new teenagers who had gotten some new speakers. What I didn't know was that it was the neighbors getting ready for today. The "noise" stopped at 10PM and I sighed............I could not believe that it started again this morning at 8:30!! I thought, "OK that's enough" and I was prepared to go and beg them to turn the music down........I got dressed, hiked down the hill, one block, and voila, there were zillions of people standing around dressed as spiders, bumblebees, roaches, ducks, - you nameit -there they were! I started laughing - what a sight! I came home, got the camera and hiked back down the hill. By that time, they were jiving and ready to take off dancing behind the music truck. I was giddy with happiness at how much fun these people have with handmade costumes. BUT you should see the beautiful paper mache heads they make to hide behind. It all reminds me of New Orleans and the Krewes and the parades that I saw so many times as a child and teenager. With the people jiving behind the floats..... The picture above needs to be clicked on to enlarge - it shows a "sea" of people. I took this picture a couple of years ago as I was trying to "wind my way home" up the hill through the crowds!
This event started originally in the 1700's based on the saint, St. Pascual Bailon who was the patron of orchards.......(Although I was raised as a Catholic and went to Catholic girls school for eight years, I can assure you, I have never heard of half the saints celebrated in San Miguel.)

So, it started out to thank that saint for a good harvest in the orange orchards that used to surround San Miguel. All those orchards were irrigated naturally by springs that were channeled through town - some channels still exist but not the springs. A parade of dancers was started and onlookers began to come. Some of the older people began to disguise themselves as scarecrows to keep the crowd at a distance so the children could dance (The previous sentence from info in our paper, Atencion). So, as the parade became more fun, the people became known as "locos".
Someone asked me yesterday if lots of tourists come to town to see this parade - I was happy to answer, "No this is just for the people of San Miguel"...............


1 comment:

Kay Cox said...

I remember going down the hill and joining the zillions for the Los Locos parade. What a mob! And what incredible costuming! Mexicans are SO creative in everything they touch...talk about recycling! they are the masters! Art/costumes from all kinds of stuff. I love it! And I do remember not being able to get a cab to go home to your casa and climbing that mean hill! Hot and pooped I was! But it was worth it.