Sunday, June 08, 2014

Aha! A Colonia Celebration in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 I knew something was going to happen.........just not what yesterday afternoon.  For the past few days there had been saber rattling down at the corner, a few processions by the house and then yesterday afternoon blue flag banners were being hung across various streets in the colonia.  Even on my street.  I'd never seen them on this street before.  So, I wondered.  Last evening when I heard the saber rattling again, I went to the roof terrace to see where and what was going on.
Down at the corner, there were Aztec and Spanish marchers doing their dance and battle.  A re-creation of sorts.  Along with that the men were carrying the Crucifix that I had seen one previous day in the wooden box along with the Mexican flag.
They headed to Cuesta de San Jose and then went up the street to the far corner of my street where tables were set up with food.  I heard distant drums and war whoops until about 10PM. 
 This parade last night, besides being religious, also had the mojigangas with men inside walking up the hill.  It was going to be a fun time for all!  Mojigangas are made of papier mache and card board.  Interestingly, I believe this tradition came from the Spanish, as I recently saw some in a video from Spain.  In the past, I thought it was strictly a Mexican tradition. 

I thought the evening festivities would be the whole event.  I was WRONG!
Sometime, before 5:30AM, I heard fireworks outside my bedroom wall.  Then I heard the tuba band.  And it went on and on and on some more!  Obviously I got up, went to the roof to see who and what was going on.
In past years, it was hundreds of people with a banner of the Virgen.  Not today.  Today it was a huge statue of the Virgen Mary along with the box with Jesus on the Crucifix along with beautiful flowers.  Amazing.
 The band was there too, along with scattered people watching the fireworks go off and the sun come up.  I was awed and actually giggled as the fireworks were going overhead.  SO LOUD!  The wooden sticks that the fireworks are attached to were falling on the roof terrace.  I decided maybe that wasn't the safest place for me to be.
With one last turn to the East to get the rising sun (something I don't see often), I scurried down the stairs to make coffee at 6:15AM.  Fireworks still going off.  It is quite amazing how they set up the fireworks in a metal case to go off over the canyon which causes them to reverberate.

About 6:55 it all ended.  They headed back up the street and total quiet fell back upon this area.

I'm astounded how people get up in the dark for these celebrations, frequently, in the cold, and honor whatever or whoever it is that they are honoring.  I so wish I knew more about the symbolism of everything.
But, who to ask?  I have no idea.

There is no doubt however, that each colonia in San Miguel celebrates at some time or other.  We have fireworks frequently, but usually in the distance.  Not five feet from my house.

Next week will be the Locos Parade where thousands of costumed people will parade throughout the centro.  When I say thousands, I'm not exaggerating.  It is quite an amazing site.  Mardi Gras has nothing on San Miguel de Allende.

I hope to get some photos if possible and then I'll tell you the history of the Locos Parade.  That story and symbolism, I do know.  It's quite extraordinary.

6 comments: said...

The Locos Parade is quite an event...lots of fun. Hope you get some good pictures. I can't find mine.

Babs said...

Kay, I have tons of photos from past years. I forgot that you were here at this time that year!

I'm thinking about you and the next month of moving.......wish I was there to help.

Darvin/Marilyn said...

Today is Pentecost Sunday – it’s the Birthday of the Christian Church!
For those who may not be familiar with it, Pentecost is derived from a Jewish holiday (Shavuot) that is celebrated 50 days after Passover. According to the Book of Acts (chapter 2) on the day of Pentecost that took place 50 days after Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus’ followers (only about 120 at the time) were all gathered in a large upper room of a dwelling in Jerusalem. The room was locked because they were afraid of being persecuted themselves. On that day, the Holy Spirit descended upon them and literally inspired (breathed into) them and they shed their fear and went out onto the busy streets packed with folks from all over who had come to that city to mark the holiday. They boldly proclaimed the good news of the God’s gift to the world in Jesus the Christ. And many hundreds of people became Christians that day. And, though the early Church was harshly and brutally persecuted, the more they were terrorized, the more they grew. And it took off like wildfire. In time, the Roman Empire that had killed Jesus was dissolved – and the Church lived on.

Darvin/Marilyn said...

That information is from

Babs said...

'Thanks for the information. I'll try to find out if this celebration has anything to do with that.
I looked back at last years calendar and it appears it is always on the second Sunday of June whereas Locos, which has to do with rain and the orange harvest, is what the celebration is about.
Much to my surprise, Catholicism in Mexico is very different then the Catholicism that I grew up in.

Babs said...

Darvin/Marilyn - Thanks for the Patheos website. I've never seen one that covers all the religions from Buddhist to Muslim to many, many others. I've bookmarked it and will go back to it, often.