Monday, March 26, 2007

Beginning of Easter Observance

The procession from Atotonilco carrying El Senor de la Columna as well as the Apostle John and the Virgen de Dolores arrived early Sunday morning. They leave Atotonilco at midnight and walk 12 kilometers carrying the three statutes carefully covered with silk scarves for protection. The statutes are on heavy wooden biers decorated with flowers. The procession is silent and the way is lit only by lanterns and torches. They are bringing the statutes to reside in the San Juan de Dios church until after Easter and then they will be taken back to Atotonilco and placed carefully in their glass cases in the church.

From about 4:00 AM until they reach the city, rockets are periodically fired from the edge of the town. At the top of Avenida Independencia the roadway is decorated with flowers, balloons, candles, banners and sidewalk art.

I rolled out of bed a little before 6:00 AM to go see the procession and once again try to photograph it. The light at dawn may be wonderful for many landscapes but it is difficult for catching the procession. As I left the house with the camera, it was still chilly but the sky was beginning to lighten just a bit.

There were several families walking along my street toward Avenida Independencia and the number grew as we walked along. Many people walk all the way to the top of Avenida Independencia and join in with the procession but people also find a seat along the road and wait for the procession to pass. And the families along the Avenida have decorated their houses, some very elaborately with purple and and white and others have tied a couple of palm branches to either side of their door.
Food stands have been set up all along the way, tamales, atole, empanadas, gorditas and who knows what else. Balloons vendors never miss a chance to find a kid. Still there is a hush over the crowd and the scent of the flowers and herbs that carpet the path of the procession hang in the air. The procession winds its way to the San Juan de Dios church where there is a huge outdoor Mass.

Once again, I made "tourist" pictures but that isn't the only reason that I go anyway. I have come to love the religious devotion and pageantry of Easter in San Miguel.

2 comments:

daverichards said...
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Babs said...

Wonderful photographs Billie. Had I known you were out there, I would have attempted to get up and go, might as well the fireworks started up here at 4:10AM!