Monday, April 09, 2007

The Passion of Christ

There are two pageants on Good Friday in the centro of San Miguel de Allende. First is the trial of Christ and later at dusk is the Holy Burial Procession. These religious observances are full of tradition and have been carried out by generations of Sanmiguelenses. I've been before but have decided to stay in my own Colonia for the procession from the San Antonio Church through the neighborhood to Stations of the Cross that are set up at the homes of my neighbors. The more I hear from people who did go to the two events in the Centro the more I'm sure I made the right decision. First of all, as I've mentioned before 20,000 tourist were expected. I'm a short person and I can get pinned in these large crowds where I can't see and I can't move. It is frightening.

And the other thing is I get so aggravated at the behavior of photographers who do not seem to have any respect for these religious events. They act as though the events are staged so that they can go home with "great" photographs. I knew that there were a couple of photography workshops in town and so the competition for the "best of the best" would be fierce. And from what I have heard from my friends who went, sure enough the photographers were standing in front of the Roman Guards until the Guards started using their lances for a few pokes. The photographers think nothing of pushing in front of someone who has been patiently waiting in place at the curb to see the procession and blocking their view when the procession passes by.

At any rate in my Colonia, the procession is small and I can walk along with it and I feel I can photograph it without out being a bother to anyone or detracting from the observance. True I don't get "killer" pictures but I feel as though I have also participated in the religious service. Each year the procession takes a different route. There are no transito to direct the traffic. Some one drives ahead of the procession and motions for cars to go the other way. No one gets upset, they just turn out of the path of the procession or turn around. I love seeing how each Station of the Cross is decorated with the flowers and religious objects from their homes. And as the procession approaches, the men in the homes take hoses to sprinkled down the dust in the street and the women and children spread herbs and flower petals. Balloons and crepe paper decorate the route. I love my Colonia.

If you want to read and see a video of another observance of The Passion of Christ in Acanceh in the Yucatan, click here for Yucatan Living.

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