Children’s Day was Tuesday April 30th in Mexico. No classes on that day, just games and parties, pinatas and other great things for the children to do. In 1954, the General Assembly of the United Nations recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day. So this is a huge holiday all over the world, not just in Mexico. Most countries celebrate it on June 1st. The celebration in this article was held on Sunday, April 28th, a few days before the official Children’s day.
The town plans for this holiday for months in advance, collecting money from different organizations and individuals. I talked with a man from the Association of Charros (the Cowboys). He said they were helping out with everything, including donating money. Check out the photo below. They were mixing up the sweet drinks in garbage cans because those were the largest containers they could find. (more…)
Escaramuza in Spanish means skirmish. Another meaning is, “Riding from the heart.” This one took place at the Ajijic bull ring on Sunday, April 7th. 2013. It was an all woman’s horse show. It was a combination of equestrian skills, handcrafted tack, beautiful costumes, music and food. It is a rich heritage of living folk traditions dating back hundreds of years.
Tickets were eighty pesos at the door. I loved watching the little boy helping his father collect the tickets. He was so proud to be of use. (more…)
This last weekend went to the dogs in the Lakeside area. Saturday evening at Salvador’s Restaurant in Ajijic, Anita’s Animals had a big spaghetti fund raiser for her shelter out in San Juan Cosala. On Sunday, there was another fun raiser near Santa Cruz at the new Lucky Dog shelter. It was their grand opening and they had free hot dogs and cold drinks. Unfortunately, I am only one person and I had already planned to attending the once a year doggie fashion show that was held at the American Legion in Chapala. They also had barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers. It was a fun event.
Above is a Boston Terrier named Razor Back. He was very patient. His owner made his Sherlock Holmes costume. He didn’t much like that hat.
The 35th Annual Mexican National Chili Cook-Off was held on the 22, 23,24, of February in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. Their hours were from 11 to 5 p.m. every day. It was held at the Tobolandia Water Park on the Libramiento. This year it was closer into the water park and away from the dust that we had to experience the past couple of years. The weather was beautiful. Entrance fee was only twenty pesos and it was ten pesos for a ticket to taste the Chili. I went on Saturday. I ran into almost every I knew in town. It was a very successful event.
As I walked into the Chili Cook Off area, I saw and heard fireworks going off. They spelled out the words Anos 35 Years. Exciting display. It sure got my heartbeat going. (more…)
Mardi Gras is a French word meaning Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday refers to eating rich and fatty foods the day before fasting of the Lent Season. Ash Wednesday starts off Lent. Fat Tuesday is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday from the word Shrive. Shrive means “confess” which relates to the Lent season. Fat Tuesday is the last day of Carnival season, a time of parties and letting go of inhibitions before the season of fasting, obligations and confessions of Lent. For sure, people at the Mardi Gras parade in Ajijic yesterday were letting go of their inhibitions and having fun.
Crowds were gathered all along the road, anxiously awaiting the parade. The tradition of wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, and parades was very much alive at this year’s Fat Tuesday.
The second annual Open Studios Tour was the weekend of February 9th and 10th, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was a benefit for the Artists of the Ajijic Society for the Arts and the Children’s Art Program at the Lake Chapala Society. The locations of the studios were given out in a booklet form along with photos of artwork done by the different artists. Cost was only 50 pesos for two people. The work ranged from textile, jewelery, paintings , photography, weaving, to ceramic sculptures. All high quality work.
A table was set up at Johanna’s Restaurant for the work that was done in the Children’s Art Classes at the Lake Chapala Society. Several other artists also had displays in their garden. Unfortunately, I didn’t get good photos because of the bright sunshine. This is a good place to apologize to all the wonderful artists that I didn’t photograph and put into this article. I only have a limited space to work with and there were over seventy artists and twenty locations. I didn’t have time to get to all of them. So, please forgive me if I didn’t get you in this article.
The Chapala 2013 Carnival season kicked off on Friday evening, February 1st, with a samba parade along Avenida Madero. It was followed by Entierro del Mal Humor (Burial of bad humor). On Sunday, February 10th at 11 a.m. there will be another huge Mardi gras style parade with floats, music, dance troupes, horses and much more. Something not to be missed if you are anywhere near Chapala that week end. I missed the evening parade but hopefully I will make it to the morning parade and I will write about it in my next article. Stay tuned.
Christiana Park is easy to find. When you come into Chapala, you go east on any of the downtown streets. If you are on the street next to the malecon, you turn left when you get to stop light at the end of the row of restaurants. You will pass the Red Cross station and see the park on your right. If you take any of the downtown streets, you will eventually run into the park. If you get lost, ask anyone. It is a huge park.
This year the Feria Maestros del Arte was held in West Ajijic at the Plaza de la Ribera, Number 10 Rio Bravo street. The entrance fee was 50 pesos and that was well worth it. It was held for three days; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 16th through November 18th. I was only able to go on the last day and I regret that. I missed many interesting events that were also part of the art and craft exhibits. There were musicians and dancers, fashion shows, and instructional lectures. I would have liked to have seen the one on how to make radish carvings or how to use a Molcajete. Or how about free wine and tequila tasting?
The event was well attended on all three days. It is a once a year show and people prepare for it all year long. Craftsmen and women come in with their work from all over Mexico. There are no fees for them. This is totally run by volunteers. It was started in 2002 by Marianne Carlson after she and her friends took a trip around Mexico, looking for crafts. She decided to bring the craft people to Ajijic where they could have more buyers. (more…)
The Day of the Dead is one of the biggest holidays in Mexico. It lasts for three days. During that time, people clean up the graves of their departed loved ones and create altars in front of their homes or at the graves. The children run around and trick or treat, just as they do in the States. There are parties and lots of loud bangs of the firecrackers and cohetes. It is believed that the noises scare off evil. I don’t know about scaring evil but they scare many dogs into hiding.
People buy artificial and real flowers to decorate the graves and altars. The plaza in Chapala had several flower stands. There are also beautiful round wreaths that are put on the graves. These wreaths are made out of brightly colored artificial flowers and ribbons. They stay on the graves the rest of the year. (more…)
The annual Thrill the World Zombie Dance took place on Saturday, October 27th, 2012. This is an international event to raise money for charities. It was inspired by Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video. Thrill the World is an allusion to his song title, Heal the World. People from all over the world danced to his Thriller song at the same time.
If you had been at the Ajijic Plaza an hour before the two o’clock scheduled event, you might have run into zombies everywhere. I had a scare when I opened the bathroom door to find myself face-to-face with this zombie. Then she said my name and I realized that I was looking at my dear friend, Carolina. What a surprise for me. I hope her boyfriend didn’t see her in that costume.
The Ajijic Art Street show was held on October 13th and 14th, Saturday and Sunday. It was a two day event. It started in the morning and lasted until the evening with art, music, dancing, food and fun. Ajijic is a center for the arts. There were many different kinds of art work on display; oils, acrylics, watercolors, sculptures, photographs, etc. Most of the art work was for sale. All the artists allowed me to take photos of them and their work. That is unusual. For some reason, artists don’t like me to take photos of their work. I felt privileged to see so many of the local artists coming together to create this event.
The Entrance fee was only 10 pesos and you only had to pay once to be able to come and go all day long.
The rodeo was scheduled to start at four in the afternoon. Very few people showed up at that time, mostly expats. I am assuming that the Mexicans didn’t take an opening time too seriously. As we say in Ajijic, M.T. (Mexican time) or E.T. (Expat time). This event was on M.T. It didn’t open until almost six p.m. But the wait was worthwhile. What else is there to do in Mexico except sit in the sunshine and enjoy the birds? No hurry. No worry.
The rodeos are held in the arena on Revolution street. This is the same street where the Wednesday market takes place. The entrance fee for the rodeo was a hundred pesos but only a hundred and thirty pesos for two people who pay together. The woman at the ticket office kindly informed us of this, saving us enough pesos to buy some peanuts from the elderly man out front. I was there with my friend Pat. (more…)