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…)
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 Mexican Revolution started on November 20th 1910 and lasted for ten years. When the Mexican Constitution was enacted in 1917, that was close to the end of armed conflict. Porfirio Diaz had been president of Mexico for 35 years and he had a stranglehold on the country. He was ousted from power and exiled in France in 1911.
The children loved being in the parade. Many schools were represented and also soccer teams. I like the above photo because the young people seem so happy together. They were not afraid of expressing affection towards each other. (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.
The Globo Regatta was held on a Saturday, Sept. 10th. It is not only the lift off of the beautiful globos but also the lift off of the Independence Day celebrations that last all week. Something interesting is happening day and night until the day after Sept. 16th. Below is the photo of the globo that AccessLakeChapala sponsored with the “Si Lupita” team. It was successful and flew high into the sky.
The online calendar had the starting time of the globos at three in the afternoon. I knew from several years of watching them that they did not get started until two or three hours later. This time I did not go at three and sit in the bleachers for several hours, waiting and waiting. I went later and timed it perfectly. (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…)
This was the 38th annual Chili C00k-off. It was held in the Tobolandia water park in Ajijic on February 26, 27, and 28th, 2016. It is the biggest fund raising event of the year for all the charities in the area. If you would like to be part of next year’s event, please go to their website: www.mexicanchilicookoff.com. Also, if you would like more detailed information about the event, you will find it there.
The first Stand first stand was a real treat, both to the eyes and the stomach. Check out all the food and drinks set out on the table for visitors. Plus the woman with the beautiful smile, was handing out cloth bags to everyone. This was all provided by eSun energy. Thank you eSun…. I was thirsty and I loved the cookies. (more…)
The Fat Tuesday parade, otherwise knows as the Mardi Gras parade, always starts with the running of the boys. What are they running from? The people behind them throwing flour at them. By the time the parade is over, the entire town is engulfed in flour. For ten days before the Fat Tuesday parade, there are smaller parades in town. Just about anytime you walk into town during these ten days, you are likely to run into a parade and a face full of flour. Great fun.
The photo below is of the next group, carrying flour in all kinds of containers. Some of these people are men dressed like women. Some are women dressed like men, some, well I have no idea who or what they are dressed like and I didn’t want to get close enough to take their photographs because I didn’t want my camera or myself to get floured. (more…)
There are thousands of reasons to take a vacation and even more than that when deciding on places to go. Well on a recent trip I think I discovered a small piece of heaven. It’s called Ajijic, Mexico. A small city of 15,000 people, about 45 minutes by car from the airport in Guadalajara, and about 3 blocks from Lake Chapala. We decided to stay for the week at Casa del Sol, a very lovely bed and breakfast some 10 minutes walk from the center square in town. After taking the first day to rest from the flight and getting our bearings we ventured out and made our first friends a couple of streets over from our B&B.
For sure it was a sign of the relaxing trip we were hoping for. It takes a little getting used to the cobble stone streets, especially when it rains, but its just another feel of the culture and history of this historic Mexican area. Many of the shops feature the homemade styles of the area for every buying whim from pottery to blankets and so much more. (more…)
The New Year’s Day parade was fun. I went into town around nine in the morning. I thought the parade started in the morning but it didn’t start until two in the afternoon. The town was practically deserted in the morning until around noon and then it got crowded. There was more traffic here than I had ever seen. Traffic was at a standstill. Lots of people were waiting for the parade too.
I loved the bird float. That took a lot of work and time to make. Check out the detail of the wings. (more…)
I walked into town in Christmas Eve to be part of all the activities and take photos of the Crèches at the church. Surprise, surprise. Very little action was taking place in the plaza this year and there were only four live crèches. Last year the church yard was filled with crèches and the plaza was very busy. We have had weeks of excitement here, including parades and fireworks going off every evening. I have no explanation for the quiet Christmas Eve. I hope you enjoy what I managed to photograph. I apologize that my camera does not take good night photos.
Decorations inside and outside of the church were lovely. Inside of the church there were bouquets of live flowers all along on the tables. Outside were the crèches. Sawdust images on the ground, Christmas trees and many lights. It was very peaceful to walk around in the church yard. (more…)
Mexican Revolution Day was November 16th but the parade and other celebrations didn’t happen until the following weekend. On Monday, the legal holiday, many places of business were closed. But the celebrations didn’t begin until the parade on Friday the 20th. The Mexican Constitution dates back to 1917. When you think about it, that was not very long ago. Not even a hundred years. When people in my generation were growing up, in their 70s, their parents probably remembered living through it.
I love the above photo. The father and sons look so happy to be included in the parade. They do not look to me like Mexicans. The Mexicans are generally very inclusive people and they welcome outsiders. Can you imagine a president being in office for 35 years? I would call that a dictatorship. That was Porfirio Diaz. (more…)