Saturday, September 29, 2012

it’s not my party -- but I’ll dance if I want to

It has been quite a birthday party.

But this is Mexico.  The land where celebration is an art form.  Even when the guest of honor is 478 years old.

You know my opinion about cultural events at the beach. I miss having them there.  But I have certainly had aplenty on this trip to the highlands.  Even here in
Pátzcuaro -- a town not known for its cultural offerings.

I managed to miss the jazz trio this afternoon because I was indulging in an another Mexican institution that I admire even more than fiestas -- siestas.

The fact that most of the acts in
Pátzcuaro had a decidedly home-grown improvised patina merely added to the charm of the entertainment.

And nothing screams home town like a local parade.  I have participated in enough of them in The States to know the drill.

Some entries seem to be universal.  Such as the police band.

Or beauty queens draped over expensive vehicles.  The two sole interests of most teen boys.  And both equally unapproachable.

And horses.  With a decidedly Hispanic showiness.  Spain has left a deep brand on the country.

Of course, there were the senior citizens in their royal court duds proving that beauty is not the monopoly of the young.

And marching bands.

Then there are the entries that are pure Mexican.  Starting with the guy who shoots off rockets leading the parade.  The dog showed up whenever fireworks were involved.  She seemed to be fascinated by the explosions.

Or the various governmental offices marching as a hierarchical group.  This is another vestige of Spanish rule.  To have a public position is to have honor.

Or the giant puppets -- mojigangas if I recall correctly.  Did I get it correct this time, Babs?

And the entry from Crefal.  That is a post in itself.  Honoring the Americas.  Or the part that matters to Crefal -- the nations south of the Rio Bravo.

The evening was topped off with with a concert on the plaza grande.  A series of bands with bass that could loosen fillings.  All of them adding their congratulations to The Grand Old Lady on the lake.

And, of course, there were artistic fireworks.  The type of displays that typify celebrations in Mexico.  But there were no rockets fired into the audience.  Melaque does that far better.

A great party it was.  And I didn’t buy the old girl anything for her birthday.  Of course, I left many a peso in restaurants around town.

Happy birthday, Patzcuaro!


Mcotton said...

What a celebration.  Thanks for sharing.

Babsofsanmiguel said...

You DID..........and I'm proud of you! 
Equally here in San Miguel we had the Alborada this morning starting at 3AM with a parade and then the shooting of rockets and fireworks for 2 hours from 4 - 6AM.
It's 11:30AM here now and not one single car has passed the house as yet.  I think EVERYONE is sleeping it off...........or catching up on the sleep we all missed last night. 
Parades here today in honor of St. Michael the Archangel start at 5PM and will be going on in some form or the other til Monday. ......with mojigangas too.

Steve Cotton said...

 My pleasure. It made for a rather special stay this year.

Steve Cotton said...

One day I need to get back to San Miguel for the festival.

Nancy said...

Just curious - did you want to dance?  and did you?

Steve Cotton said...

I did.  I grabbed the woman closest to me and we had a great time.  But I am a shameless exhibitionist.

Shannon Casey said...

Feliz cumpleaños Patzcuaro!! Great post Steve, thank for all the wonderful pictures.

Nita said...

Another love of Mexico, the parades and especially before Lent!

DonCuevas said...

"Even when the guest of honor is 478 years old."

I'm not THAT old!

We could hear the fireworks from our house, some 10 kilometers away.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

sparks said...

Steve .... with all your travels I don't remember a Spanish school.   You are in the perfect spot and CELEP is a great school.   Still very warm and humid in Melaque so a great way to stay away.  At least check them out if only for another visit

Debiinmerida said...

Looks fabulous, but I saw nary a photo of you shaking a leg!

Kim G said...

¡Viva Pátzcuaro, Cabrones!


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we could use a few more colorful festivals, provided they don't close the only functioning thoroughfares for them.

Mommy with Commuter Husband said...

Mojigangas - I have not seen those ... need to put that on my list.

Steve Cotton said...

 They are something to see.

Steve Cotton said...

Closed thoroufares.  For a parade in most Mexican towns, all main roads get shut down.  And why not?  Where could you possibly want to go other than the fiesta?

Steve Cotton said...

To busy skakin' to do any shootin'.

Steve Cotton said...

 Happy birthday, Don Cuevas.  You are going to need to do a bit of work to catch up with Pátzcuaro.

Steve Cotton said...

Living on the coast deprives me of a lot of these activities.  Our parades are rather bad copies.

Steve Cotton said...

You are welcome.  My favorite is of the dog.  I wonder why?

Steve Cotton said...

I had planned on taking language courses.  But hedonism won out over sterile intellectualism.