While on Saturday, San Miguel was full of uniforms and metal detectors, Sunday was quite the opposite – Holy week (Semana Santa) has begun.
Last Friday was Viernes de Dolores, a day dedicated to the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary. Colorful alters to the Virgin suddenly appeared on street corners, public buildings and living rooms. The alters contain all kinds of symbolic references, the strangest of which are bitter oranges symbolizing the Virgin’s sorrow with little gold flags sticking out of them symbolic of her joy knowing Jesus will be resurrected.
On Palm Sunday, a huge procession of people wielding beautifully woven (and whole) palm fronds paraded from the parque next to our house to the Parroquia, led by a cadre of acolytes with incense of course and a statue of Jesus on a donkey. Compared to the display of firearms on Saturday, the only danger on Sunday was the possibility of getting poked in the eye with a palm branch.
There are still many celebrations to come this week, and I’m especially anticipating the “Firing of the Judases” on Easter Sunday when paper maché effigies are blown up in the center of town (no celebration is complete in Mexico without gunpowder).
However, I think what I look forward to most is a good night’s sleep… church bells at 4am are charming, but not for seven nights in a row.
For more info on Semana Santa in San Miguel, here’s a great article.
Happy Easter everyone. Party on, San Miguel.