Valle del Maiz Festival and Parade

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I guess you could say this fits right in
With the sounds theme.
This weekend has been the festival
Of the Valle del Maiz,
An annual festival that occurs
On the hillside that heads out to Queretaro.
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It coincides with the festival Santa Cruz
Which was  put off for a month,
because of the swine flu closures.
Never fear though, it began in earnest
At 5am Friday morning
With a full hour worth of rockets
I’m not kidding, a full hour,
One after the other, over and over
Booming above the town.
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The same happened on Saturday morning
But it began more like around 6am,
Followed by a day of festivities in the community,
Which we did not go to.
It rained in the late afternoon,
But that didn’t seem to stop anything
Including a full fireworks display
In the Jardin last night,
Followed by more rockets this morning.
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On Sunday afternoon
The tradition is to parade down the hill
Through the streets of town
Every group in costume,
The mojigangas (which we missed)
The traditional dancers,
The Indian dancers,
The Aztec dancers,
Followed by none other than
Five neighborhood groups of locos,
With earsplitting bouncy music
Booming from big loudspeakers
That sit on the back of pickup trucks
You can’t help but dance along in place
As they gear up for next month’s locos parade.
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Later on there will be games,
The greased pole,
The greased pig,
A comparsa – theatre of the absurd
So to speak, and lots of food,
More dancing
And more fireworks.

Here’s a little movie
Of the various groups in today’s parade:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDsEFia_LSM]



7 thoughts on “Valle del Maiz Festival and Parade”

  • Great post and photos and video. You really do have talent for this kind of documentation or as we might say in Spanish Estás pintata para eso…you are painted for that.

  • Do you know what the celebration is about or is it just the Colonia of Valle de Maiz celebrating their existence?

    • Valle del Maiz is one of San Miguel’s oldest neighborhoods and they say most of the population is Otomi and chichiemca origin. The festival is in honor of the Santa Cruz and it blends the prehispanic and Catholic backgrounds with traditional prehispanic dances and blessings, prayer and thanks for a good year/rain/harvest etc. There are verses that are sung about the Valle del Maiz as well as fireworks, dancers dressed in costume, reenactments of battles etc & there’s a blessing of the gunpowder – given how many fireworks there are for this festival, they are probably blessing it all day and night. All of this is interspersed with dances, xuchiles, offerings, games and the lifting of the cross. It goes day and night for a few days.

  • Thank you for posting that. Your sights and SOUNDS of SMA give me the true feeling of what it would be like to be right there. Please keep this up. Really look forward to more.

  • From the blog of El Señor del Hospital

    http://elsenordelhospital.blogspot.com/2009/06/padre-nuestro-en-otomi.html

    The Padre Nuestro (Our Father) en Otomí

    Ma tá-agé, gue gui bbui ya magètzì,
    da nhenmansù ri tjùùjù.
    Dba ègè-ga-gé, rin bbyí.
    Dra kja rin he,
    xindangùgua ma´jài teòngù magètzì.
    Ma mhè-ga-gè,
    tàttan-apa raq-gé rá paya.
    Já pún-ga-ge man dùpate-ge,
    Teòngù-ga-gé dri pun-ba-gé man dùpaté-ge.
    Ja yhò gui gé-gaga-gé ga tzo-gé.
    Kjá ra tzo-cudi, man-á pege-ga-gé.
    Ò gìn guijo.

    Dra kja Jesús.

  • wow, thanks Bob, I am going to have to digest this one. Maybe one of my neighbors speaks Otomi. Just when I FINALLY learned to say it in Spanish too. el Senor del Hospital’s blog looks very interesting too.

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