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Carol Schmidt

Mar 5, 2003, 7:11 PM

Post #1 of 4 (1270 views)


Anybody join in any Mardi Gras festivities in your towns?

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I couldn't figure out why the San Miguel de Allende Jardin was full of confetti and kids were running and sliding on what seemed to be egg shells and there were vendors everywhere selling more stuff than usual. The closest I got to actually taking part in anything Mardi Gras was having a Cajun feast at Harry Bissett's--crawfish pie, yum. All the waiters were in costume and there were Mardi Gras decorations all over. No more fireworks than usual Tuesday night, and no parades I was aware of. Today lots of people had Ash Wednesday ashes on their foreheads and one priest apparently put them on the top of people's scalps--only if you had silver hair or were bald did the ashes show. Kind of funny. MexConnect website came through again with a nice article in the archives on the origins of the confetti-filled eggs for Mexican Mardi Gras.

Okay, somebody else, start a thread!

Carol Schmidt

jennifer rose

Mar 5, 2003, 7:30 PM

Post #2 of 4 (1208 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] Anybody join in any Mardi Gras festivities in your towns?

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There were big shindigs a-goin’ in downtown Morelia and various ‘hoods, but I had work that I had to get out. Which meant staying at home in front of the computer. Last night and early this morning, the sounds of bands and singing punctuated the night air.

But I did sneak out to the main church in Santa Maria de los Altos, just two blocks away, mid-morning, thinking I would only observe Ash Wednesday. The old ladies at the back of the church tricked me into sitting right up front with a handful of people listening to one of the nuns describe Lent. I’ll have to admit that she did with a great amount of style and humor. And only took a few minutes doing so. I didn’t line up for the ashes, because it didn’t seem right for a non-Catholic to do so.

Down on the street outside of the church a woman was selling about ten different kinds of fish, from small mojarra filets to a giant huachinango. And salmon. But I’d already bought a piece of salmon the day before, and it was marinating in the refrigerator.

Later this afternoon, I decided that I should buy some cigarettes, which meant walking two blocks to the abarrote, stopping in at the afternoon classes sponsored by Casa de la Cultura. Today’s classes were guitar and embroidery. A neighbor waved me in, and I had to stop and comment upon the projects. “Why don’t you join us and embroider something?” they asked. Uh, I haven’t exactly embroidered anything since I was in kindergarten, and I haven’t really thought about embroidery for a real long time, but I was touched. If anyone had asked me a decade ago if I’d find myself thinking about embroidery in 2003, I would’ve died laughing. Maybe I should figure out how to embroider a tea towel. What, I’m writing this?

By 5:30, everyone was heading up the hill to the church – except for those who’d already been, of course. Cotton candy, roasted corn and pancake vendors lined the way up the few steps to the churchyard.

Where I live, the locals are a friendly, chatty bunch, and everyone says “Buenas Dias” or “Buenas Tardes,” as they pass one another on the sidewalks. And, of course, casually asks if you received the ashes. My neighbor reminded me about this Saturday’s peregrinacion to Caracuaro, halfway between Morelia and Huetamo. Who knows? I just might go.


Mar 5, 2003, 8:03 PM

Post #3 of 4 (1207 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] Anybody join in any Mardi Gras festivities in your towns?

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Chapala had a week-long celebration, but unfortunately I was stuck in Ajijic and couldn't go to any of it...parades, jaripeos, and various other kinds of whoopdedoo. Little Ajijic had its little Carnaval parade at noon yesterday~right on time, for once! There were LOTS of sayacos~masked kids in sizes-too-large rumpled suitcoats, the pockets stuffed with bags of flour and/or confetti. Large numbers of other not-costumed kids walked in front of the sayacos, periodically breaking into a dead run as the sayacos attacked, also on the run, flinging handsful of flour or confetti on as many kids as they could reach~and flinging flour and confetti on unsuspecting adult spectators as well.

After the sayacos came the tall monos (figures with papel maché heads, dressed in clothing large enough to accomodate the two people that it took to walk these creations down the cobblestone streets). They towered over the crowded sidewalks as little kids pointed and laughed. Mixed among these were men in outrageous women's clothing, their faces covered with red-lipped papel maché masks and their heads covered with the frowsiest wigs you can imagine. Picture grown men, dressed in midriff-baring blouses, tight miniskirts, and beads, girating in the streets!

Then came a few floats, a band or two, and the escaramuzas, as well as a dance troupe of scarf-waving girls in brilliantly colored dresses of red, orange, and bright blue. Last came the charros, their horses prancing and snorting in the sun. It was a super parade and a fitting end to Carnaval.

(This post was edited by esperanza on Mar 6, 2003, 5:15 AM)


Mar 5, 2003, 8:23 PM

Post #4 of 4 (1183 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] Anybody join in any Mardi Gras festivities in your towns?

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Sayula just ended their big Carnaval yesterday. They had a large parade on Friday. They had bullfights several evenings and brought in the popular Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. The streets around the plaza have been blocked off for all the carnaval rides and booths were set up on the plaza. I have been to several carnavals here, but have not experienced the crowds we had this year. Friday through Tuesday the plaza was so crowed in the evenings, you could hardly move. The carnaval rides are still here, but will probably pack up and leave after this weekend. The weather was just perfect for the whole event.

(This post was edited by Don on Mar 5, 2003, 8:28 PM)
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