Sunday morning. 10:30 AM.
Since midnight Friday night, the partying has been going on. The parade of the estrellas (stars) at midnight, followed by dancing and events in the Jardin until 4am when las mananitas – happy birthday song to San Miguel, the patron saint of the town is sung and the castillo fireworks are let off for an hour or so. People are fed punch and sweet rolls before they roll on home into bed for a few hours.
At 5 in the afternoon there is the parade of the Xuchiles – which includes dancers from all over Mexico who perform dances that have been remembered for centuries, wearing colorful costume, in the manner of old but with modern materials such as velvet, shiny tin, upside down decorated lampshade hats, masks, war paint, gourds, clacking shoes and paper flowers. They have all been brought here by the city to perform for the town celebration, one of the largest events of the year.
They stay in schools, are fed by the town, and carry their supplies in trucks – mattresses, pillows, clothing and costumes.
I am a fan of watching the getting ready part of parades,
I asked several dance groups for their stories
Here is what I was told:
The dances have been being danced for centuries,
Babies dance in their parents arms to learn young,
Some brought the dances back into being during this century,
Others say they have been dancing the same dances over 300 years.
That’s a long time.
Although it seems to me that dancing all day for three days
Would be incredibly tiring, apparently that’s not the case
The dancers say it is like being in a trance
Which gives them the energy to keep going.
This morning it is only eleven and I am already sweaty.
As you see in some of the photos,
They have retired parts of their costumes for shade
Before the parade begins.
Click on the photo below to view the slideshow.
Here’s a video below of La Danza de los Toritos
A dance from the state of Guanajuato.
Mexico Bob has a write up on his blog about this dance.
After watching the video below,
Click here to go to his site
Where you can read the story behind this dance.
Then come back and watch again to identify the characters,
They are all here:
Here’s the movie of the dancers getting ready,
Fixing their hats, visiting with each other,
Practicing their dances before they head out onto the street
Plus shots of the parade route.
Click on the photo below for the movie