Time to Celebrate at Lake Chapala – Ajijic
September 7, 2012
Mexicans love parties and look for ways to have one. They love each other and yes, they also love those of us who have chosen to join them, participate in their culture without sacrificing our own and treat them with the respect a guest owes its host.
Well September is the beginning of Ajijic Festia Season which extends into the New Year. Most of us have worked many years to be able to slow down and smell the roses so to speak. Here at Lake Chapala there are lots of roses to smell and we have time to smeall them all both figuratively and in realty.
So, in one way or another we joing our hosts, who wecome us to the various celebrations and activities below.
The ball gets rolling with Fiestas Patrias which I would translate as Patriotic Celebrations revolving around Mexico Independence Day. Of course there are various parades to celebrate this event which extend over a 4 day period ending with the celebration known as “El Grito” (The shout) which commemorates Fath Hidalgo’s “shout” for Mexicans to rise up and thrown off the yoke of Spanish oppression.
Here at Lake Chapala the celebrations start in Saturday, September 8th with the Globo Regatta (Hot air balloon competition) made traditionally from paper mache. Being made of paper and the hot air supplied by fire many do in fact catch fire which adds to the excitement.
But, the danger is minimized since the earth is damp from the seasonal rains this time of year.
If you’re fortunate to be visiting us during this time of year don’t miss the fun. Head over to the East Side soccer field (pista de football) near the El Torito Supermarket. Beginning more or less at 4 PM.
Next event is one of my most favorite ones and gets underway on Sunday, September 9th this year being the Sunday before Independence Day and is known as the “Dia del Charro” (Day of the Horseman). Why are horsemen celebrated at this time of the year you may wonder.
The answer is that the horsemen are honored played a vital role in the struggle for independence. Little did the Spaniards realize that the horses they brought to the new world and helped them to conquer the native peoples would hundreds of years later be used to free the native populations from oppression.
Locally there’s a Cowboy Mass at high noon at the San Andres Church to honor the horsemen followed by what else, a parade. Everyone loves a parade and the Mexicans seem to love a parade more than most since they have so many of them. The local parade in Ajijic gives the local horsemen an opportunity to show off their skills, costumes and beautiful horses all at the same time while being patriotic. (A winning combination for everyone)
OK, now ladies just so you don’t think this all machismo showing off, the girls get involved too. Preteen girls called “Escaramuzas” show their skills by amazing the crowds with precision riding (sidesaddle no less) while dressed not in jeans, but in the beautiful colorful traditional costumes.
The ladies get into the act as well with what else, A fashion show in the form of a Rebozo Fashion Show held at the Ajijic Plaza.
The ladies model not just the traditional rebozo, but modern clothes as well. The rebozo is Mexican ladies shawl, which as you ladies know can be used in a number of different ways both practical and beautiful.
Along with the fashion show are several categories of beauty contests and topping off this year’s celebration will be a mariachi band with local songstress, Lupita Jimenez.
Well, as you can see there’s a lot going on here at Lake Chapala this year and every year, but particularly in September which is also a special month for me because it’s “birthday month” for myself, my departed first wife and mother.
And, be watching for “Time to celebrate at Lake Chapala – Part 2” coming to an inbox near you soon.