What Happens at the San Andres Festival in Ajijic?

December 12, 2009

Recently, in late November the San Andres (Saint Andrew) festival for Ajijic’s patron saint started. It ran for almost 2 weeks.

During the celebration they shoot off lots of big rocket firecrackers starting at about 5 a.m.

Arcelia and I were having a late Brunch during the festivities on the Ajijic Plaza with some Mexican neighbors of ours right next to the church where the rockets are set off.

It was deafening. Every evening after mass, the plaza hums with entertainment, rides for the kids, lots of stalls selling everything, and lots of people.

I told our Mexican friends about the time that my first wife and I stayed at a B and B right on the Ajijic Plaza… and one night at about 3 a.m. we were rudely awakened by the sound of what to me sounded like thunderous Canon fire followed by what sounded like small arms fire followed by more Cannon sounds. My first thought was, “Oh no, we’ve come to Mexico at the start of a new civil war!”

I was pleased to find out that there was no new civil war, but just a good natured war between the different groups competing to see who could explode the biggest rocket.

Our Mexican neighbors roared with laughter almost as loud as the rockets explosion at my tale of many years ago.

The tradition continues since even to this day during the San Andres Festival every night, there are big fireworks displays at about 10:30 pm next to the plaza.

Each night’s entertainment and fireworks are planned and paid for by different local groups all still trying to outdo each other.

San Andres

Each group plans and raises money all year in order to make a big impression for their night.

Some retirees don’t care for all the noise, but love the small pueblos when there are no such celebrations going on. Sometimes they plan a trip to other areas during these fiesta days to avoid the temporarily broken tranquility.

Others love every minute of it. Those who love it go to observe the culture in action and participate in the adventure of living in a Mexican Pueblo.

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