The Verbena Celebration was held at the Ajijic Plaza on April 9th, Sunday, the first day of Holy Week, Palm Sunday. Verbena has several meanings. It is a flowering plant that has 250 different species in it. It is a carnival. Also an agricultural show, amusement park and dance party. But I think dance party is the most appropriate meaning at this celebration. I didn’t stay for the dancing, which was after dark. But I managed to try out the traditional Mexican foods and watch their donkey coming into town with two children riding on it.
It was difficult for me to get photo of the parade because at that point the party had been going full swing for several hours. There were crowds of people waiting for the procession and I only got this one unclear photo of the main characters. I was surprised to see how young Jesus was this year until I figured out that it was two children riding the donkey and possibly the man walking beside them with his head down was the official Jesus. That was kind of him to let the children ride the donkey. He is a big man and it was a long ride for that little donkey from six corners into the church. (more…)
Capirotada (comida de cuaresma) is traditionally served during the Lenten period, especially on Good Friday. The recipe is even recorded as early as the 1640s. Each ingredient symbolizes the Passion of Christ and is a reminder of the suffering of Christ, especially on Good Friday.
There are many different combinations of these ingredients and additions to the recipe. But here are the symbols. The bread, which is usually bolillo bread, represents the Body of Christ. Syrup which is from mulled syrup made of whole cane sugar, known as piloncillo, represents Christ’s blood. The bread is soaked in this syrup. (more…)
Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French. The first recorded Mardi Gras was in 1699. The first one in the United States was in Mobile, Alabama, started by a Frenchman named Nicolas Langlois, in 1703. The date changes every year in accordance with Easter and the beginning of Lent. This year it was on March 28th. The next day, Wednesday, is called Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent. Lent lasts until the evening of Holy Thursday, April 13th. It is also called Mandy Thursday.
There were several beautiful young women in the parade wearing crowns. I am guessing they are all queens of the parade. This was the most spectacular float. Maybe she was the number one queen. Unfortunately, parades don’t come with information packets so I am just guessing. Fat Tuesday means eating fattening foods. It means parades and parties. It means a blow out celebration before the next day, the beginning of Lent. Giving up all those things and the somber time of contemplation before Easter.
This year the 39th annual Chili Cook-Off was again held at Todolandia Water Part. But it was much further up the hill. I, as usual, arrived too early, walked up that hill and was too tired to walk back down to watch the parade arrive. So all you are getting is a photo of the funny looking fish at the entrance of the park that I took on my way up the hill. To me, it looks like a whimsical representation of the events of the Cook-Off. I went on Saturday. It was held on Friday the 10th, Saturday the 11th and Sunday the 12th.
This is one of the biggest fund raising events of the year for the nonprofit organizations.This year’s president is Jacque S. Bouchard. As I go through this article I will write a brief description of the nonprofit organizations that benefit from the Cook-Off. (more…)
Constitution Day was on February 5th but it was celebrated as a national holiday on Monday, February 6th. Many stores were closed on the 6th but the parade was on Sunday, February 5th. I forgot about the holiday and happened to be walking around town when I saw people waiting along the side of the street to see the parade. So I waited for it too. I have gone to several Constitution Day parades and this was the smallest I have witnessed. Not that it was less fun, just less exuberant. The Mexican Constitution was drafted and approved by the Mexican Constutional Congress on February 5th, 1917 in Santiago de Queretaro following the revolution that started in 1910. It replaced the former constitution of 1857.
There are seven fundamental ideals in this constitution: 1.) A declaration of rights. 2.) Sovereignty of the nation. 3.) Separation of Powers. 4.) Representative Government. 5.) A Federal System. 6.) Constitutional Remedy. 7. ) Supremacy of the State over the Church. If you are interested in details of these seven fundamentals you can find lots of information on google. The church had too much power before this constitution and that was a major advantage of article number seven. (more…)
The 15th Annual Feria Maestros del Arte was held at the Chapala Yacht Club on November 11th through the 13th. Friday and Saturday it was from ten a.m. To five p.m. Sunday it was from ten a.m. To four p.m. The entrance fee was only 50 pesos and the money goes to the next year’s exhibition. The purpose of this event is to keep the indigenous and folk art alive in Mexico.
The modern world makes it more difficult every day for the hard working artists to compete with knockoffs quickly made for mass consumption and imported from other Countries. Once you see these beautiful works of art, you will never again be fooled or satisfied with the knockoffs. (more…)
The Day of the Dead would more honesty be named The Days of the Dead because it goes on for several days, maybe weeks if you count all the fireworks that go off day and night for a week before and a week after this holiday. It is one of the biggest holidays of the year and if you ever get a chance to visit Mexico, don’t miss it. Children go out trick or treating on the 31st of October. November 1st is the day for altars of the children who have died and November 2nd is the day for altars of adults who have died. And there are the nights where people party at the graves of their loved ones.
I like to visit Chapala when the high school kids are putting up altars for the dead. I talked with one of the mothers and she said that they take it very seriously. Death is a long way off for most of these kids but I did see some of them having fun with it. Dressed in costumes and dancing with each other. Thumbing their noses at DEATH.
Michael Jackson’s Thrill the World Dance was created by Ines Makeljevic. She was the creator/founder and Director of the event that was started in 2006 in Toronto, Canada. Now it is in six continents. Anyone can join the dance. This year they started practicing on September 10th, from one to three in the afternoon at the Club Exotica, above El Jardín in the Ajijic Plaza.
If you can’t make it to the rehearsals, you can learn the steps from the web site, email@example.com The photo above is the only one that Ramon managed to take because there was such a large crowd in front of the performance area. (more…)
Mexican Independence celebrations start with the Globos. This year the Globos went up on Sept 10th. After that, every day was another event. I didn’t have enough energy to see all of them. But I enjoyed what I managed to see.
Mexican Independence Day is a celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain which started with Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla reading el Grito on Sept 16th, 1810. It was a proclamation of independence from Spain and it is read at the same time, ten pm from the plazas of every town in Mexico on Sept 15th. Sept. 16th was the beginning of the war with Spain. It ended in 1821. (more…)
The photo below is of the main pyramid in the Guachimontones site. This site is located in the town of Teuchitlan. It makes a nice day trip from Ajijic, approximately two hours with stops along the way. I went with a friend on Charter Tours. I have nothing but good things to say about them. I will put more information about them at the end of this article. But they take tours to the site once a week on Thursdays. They have been running trips to this site since the beginning of their tour company in 1993. So they have a wealth of knowledge about the area.
I am going to backtrack now to the trip along the way because we did one of my favorite things, which is to visit a farm for a Pajarete. Pajarete means little bird but it also is the name of a morning gathering where the cows are milked. If you want to know more about a Pajarete, I have written an article about it on this site. (more…)
Today is June 19th, 2016, Father’s Day. I decided to go out this morning in search of a celebration honoring fathers. I thought it would be easy because I remember how exciting Mother’s Day was in Ajijic. But it wasn’t. There were no special celebrations in the plaza for fathers. No banners. No activities. Just one small flower stand.
I know there is a special fathers golf tournament at the golf course but that isn’t what I had in mind. I was looking for a local festival with lots of fathers and sons and daughters. I am glad I decided to make most of this article about fathers throughout the year, not just for today. That stand wasn’t doing a booming business. It was located in the plaza. So I went on, looking for fathers. (more…)
Palm Sunday this year was on the 20th of March. It will be an early Easter. There were many things going on at the Ajijic Plaza on that afternoon and evening. A Verbena Event, which is a food event where all the food is traditional Mexican food prepared without electricity or any synthetic materials, served on baro plates. These plates are made out of red clay. And then later on in the evening there was the procession of Jesus coming into town riding on a donkey.
Some of the food: Tacos, Sopes, Enchiladas, Pozole, Tamales, Fruit water, rice pudding, and many other delicious dishes. The man in the photo below is showing me his meal. Also, I wanted to get a photo of the woman standing behind him with the beautiful Palm icons and flowers. (more…)