Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Land of the Giants...I Love a Parade!

We had wandered into town for a bit when we noticed that a crowd was gathering around the square. Always a busy place at almost any hour of the day or night, the crowd began to fill the entire plaza with an unusual fervor and we knew something was up! Within a few minutes, we saw that the Policia were blocking one of the streets and the head of a parade was lining up behind them. We took advantage of the distraction to grab a bowl of fresh cappuccino ice cream from one of the street vendors, and found a place to park ourselves where we could catch some of the action. If there is one thing they know how to do in Mexico besides fireworks, it is throw a parade!

From what we could gather from the banners that the individual groups were carrying, these were all participants from the outlying towns, and each group had a theme based on their local area. This made for a fascinating array of colorful ensembles and we marveled at the diversity of the costumes. It was a pretty warm day and as the parade snaked its was through the town, we were thinking of how warm it must be in some of those costumes  In spite of the heat, all the participants (and they ran the gamut from very young to pretty old) seemed to be having a blast.

The highlight of the parade was the giant dancing puppets or "Mojigangas", a San Miguel tradition and a sight to behold! These amazing stilt creatures dance and swayed across the plaza in a dazzling display of color, somehow defying the gravity one would expect to topple them. Locally made exclusively by the family of Hermes Arroyo Guerrero these iconic and sometimes satirical puppets are a vital part of virtually every parade and celebration in San Miguel.

Parades, fireworks, and celebrations of every sort are part of the fabric of everyday life here, and it is a fabric that weaves this community tightly together.

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