Tuesday, June 17, 2008

San Antonio de Padua

What a Mexican weekend this has been and a part of what I wanted to tell you about has already been told very well by two other San Miguel bloggers. You have to be fast to get ahead of these girls. Read about the Locos Parade here on Bab's Blog and here and here on Deb's blog. And you can see my pictures of the parade here.

The newspapers said that there were 8000 people in the parade and 40,000 people who viewed the parade. I think they under counted!

The other part that I want to tell you about is the more religious side of this weekend, the festival for the patron saint of our Colonia Church, San Antonio de Padua. Unforturnately I don't have any pictures of this event because I carefully loaded up my camera in a plastic bag and put it inside the backpack because it looked like rain and we walked over to the San Antonio church. The procession was just starting when we arrived and the minute I went to take the camera out of the backpack, I knew.....no memory card was in the camera. So all you are going to get are words....no pictures.

As we walked up the side steps to the entry platform of the church, many people were hurrying inside and as far as we could see there was a procession across the courtyard of the church and down the street. Each group was carrying their santo on a platform if it was large or in a small enclosed retablo if it was small. The church bells were ringing. The priest came out and blessed each group. About 20 elders wearing ribbons and emblems across their chest lined up to lead the procession into the church. The procession slowly entered the church. Along the sides of the procession there were people who were walking on their knees into the church. I don't know how far they had come on their knees but all of them had family members helping them along by laying down blankets in front of them. Even with the blankets it was obvious that this 'walk' to the church wasn't easy.

Finally the bells grew silent and all of the people in the procession managed to find their way inside the church. It was a wonderful moment. But the silence didn't last. Almost immediately a loud speaker began blaring the results of a raffle. I don't think I'll ever understand the contrast of the religious intensity inside the church with the irreligious noise that goes on right outside the door. All around the courtyard there were puestos set up to sell food, soundsystems on trucks that were parked in the street that would be playing for dancing soon and castillos of fireworks that would light up the night sky a little later.

I just wish I had some pictures for you! And maybe a bit of audio of the 6:00 AM fireworks that sounded like thunder as they reverberated off of the mountains. What a great weekend!


Steve Cotton said...

Billie -- I love your pictures, but your word pictures in this post are every bit as good. Thank you for sharing.

John W said...

From my house overlooking the town, the sounds of the celebration make a strange muted roar--all day long. I used to get that feeling when sounds of dancing and drumming would waft up out of Harlem to Morningside Heights and the Columbia University campus. It's a primal sound.

Babs said...

I agree with Steve, your descriptions were eloquent and "painted" a picture in my mind of the festivities.........Thanks for telling us about it.

Deb Hall ~ Zocalo Folk Art said...

Love your locos photos, and especially your description of the moments before the church. What a moment...on their knees(!!!)...gives me chills.