Saturday, April 08, 2006

Viernes de Dolores

Friday of Our Lady of Sorrows - Viernes de Dolores. Next week during Semanta Santa the celebrations will be full of circumstance and pomp. This contrasts with Viernes de Dolores when people build altars in their homes and serve aguas, helados and a dessert made of chilacoyote which is a type of pumpkin to those who come to visit. In the Centro there are homes and public buildings that do elaborate altars but in my Colonia, Colonia San Antonio, the altars are beautiful but humble built by my neighbors with chamomile, fennel, grains, flower petals and sprouting wheat. They use small gold flags and drape the altar with purple and white. Purple for morning and white for purity. They add pictures of the Virgin and Jesus on the cross sometimes with the two thieves on either side of him.
About dark people in the neighborhood walk and stop to pray at each altar although I think the children are more interested in the helados and aguas frescas. Of course, it is an opportunity for neighbors to stop and visit as they go from altar. These altars may be simple but they are a sign of a deep devotion.

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