Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Alborada (Dawn)

This event happened in San Miguel during the night of Friday into Saturday of this week. Actually, the fireworks started at 3PM on Friday and the crescendo was at 4AM on Saturday morning when the skies were lit up with bombs bursting in air.

If I have guests in town, I always forewarn them so they don't think a REAL war is going on. It is earsplitting. Time to pull out and put on those earplugs that one always travels with in Mexico. Especially at certain times of the year.

I write about this in the abstract, with no photos, as I've never been able to get my lazy self out from under the warm covers to go down to the jardin for all the festivities - not in nearly ten years. I'll take everyone's word for it that it is magical, frightening, dangerous, and interesting.

The tradition began when the textile workers who came from Salvatierra to work in the manta factory venerated the Virgin of the Light. That was sometime in the mid 1920's. The manta factory closed in the last six or seven years, but the tradition continues.

The first part of the celebration is when the people, who have made tissue paper and cellophane stars that represent the Virgen proceed toward the jardin. That's at about 3AM. Then at 4AM all heck breaks loose with the rockets. It is known as "the burning of the powder".

The most beautiful thing, in my humble opinion, occurs at 6AM when many of the villagers meet in front of the Parroquia to sing "las mananitas". Happy Birthday to St. Michael the Archangel. As this whole event is part of that celebration also.

I was privileged one early, early morning to be awakened to hear "las mananitas" outside my house. Quietly climbing the stairs to my roof terrace, I peeked over to see a large banner to the Virgen of Guadalupe being held at the edge of the cliff and about one hundred people singing in the softest, purest voices. It made me cry.

These things are why I live in Mexico and am continuously touched by the people of Mexico.

3 comments: said...

I remember being there for that and it really is fun once one realizing that there isn't a shoot out going on. You describe it so well.

Expat Arrivals said...

Hi Babs-

It certainly sounds like a beautiful ceremony.

On another note, I'm the editor of Expat, a site devoted to developing comprehensive destination guides aimed at easing expat transitions abroad. I came across your blog while doing research for the Mexican portion of our site, and i was hoping I could convince you to contribute. We're always looking for expats on the ground to share their insight by helping us create unique content sections. In exchange, we offer our writers promotional profile space where they have the opportunity to levy exposure for themselves, their blog and their business.

Let me know if you'd be interested! Thanks for your time and consideration, I look forward to hearing from you!


norm said...

On a side note: if I recall correctly, you had a run in with a guy on the run a few years ago. The FBI pulled in a guy in Antigua, Guatemala who had a blog called Guateliving, the two stories seem to be similar.