Festival of San Miguel

Festivals and rituals
Are taken VERY seriously,
Historic and religious beliefs
Are acted out in public passion plays,
The many faces and times of Mexico
Are featured in this festival
The Aztec dancers, local Indios,
Homage to San Miguel Arcangel
In the form of floats with young girls
Acting out San Miguel slaying the devil,
Baby angels all around.

The battle of the France against Mexico
Fought in the streets
The youngest to the oldest participate
And a trance is created
With three days of drumming, pounding
Dancing Singing, rockets and fireworks.
Pilgrims come by the thousands
On foot, horseback, and carried by others
To watch, participate, pray, sing,
And just have a good old time.

Here is a slide show of John’s 25 favorite photos:
click on the photo to start the slideshow

Saturday –

1PM – Chinelos in the San Juan de Dios Market
On our way into town
We ducked into the outer entrance
To the San Juan de Dios Market
We could hear a banda
Bandas are whole stories unto themselves
Groups of locals who play traditional,
Fun, lively, out of tune, almost Cacaphonic music.

Then the colorful costumes
Made of velvet, sequins and embroidery
Hats made of upside down lampshades,
Velvet with swinging strands of colorful beads
Men wrapping their heads in scarves
Dancing and jumping around
Where the tortilla ladies usually sit.

Chinelos Dancing
Chinelos Video Click photo to start

From the market we wandered up the streets
Which were uncharacteristically quiet
Just a few men on horseback,
A few parade people, carrying costumes
And the transito police talking to each other

1:30pm – a pilgrimage
From the ranchos outside of San Miguel
They wander in on the Salida de Queretaro
They have walked six hours
120 on horseback
1000 by foot
Waving flags and carrying altars
Singing traditional chants,
wrapped in shawls, wearing baseball hats,
carrying children.

2pm – the blowing up of the Monitos
The horses make a procession out of the Jardin
Followed by chanting pilgrims.
A pickup truck drives in, filled
With paper mache dolls, called monitos,
Or little monkeys.
They stand on a round frame
Built from bamboo.
They are decorated with………..   more to come…

The Voladores (for now, see our previous post)

The Parades -Below – The slideshow of parade photos
click on the photo to begin

Slideshow of Parade Photos


The Dancers