October is dedicated to our Virgin of the Rosary
(These dates and times are only estimates as the official schedules have not been received. Article updated by Ajijic News)
The past four years. since 2016, there is the Fiesta de San Miguel in the San Miguel barrio of Ajijic, above Tempesqui. Their saint is carried in a procession from a hillside cave and then proceeds though Ajijic.This tradition has made a revival after 200 years of its absence.
Beginning September 30, the celebration for the Virgin of the Rosary, who resides at the small church on the Ajijic Plaza all year, begins.
There is a procession on September 29th to the Church of Guadalupe, in sies esquinas on ocampo in West Ajijic, approximately at 5pm.
The next day, September 30, there is a procession from the Church of Guadalupe to the main church in Ajijc, San Andres, on Marcos Castellanos.This usually begins at 6:30 pm. Then every morning at 5am, there is a call to church, where she is serenaded with music and song. This is a celebration from September 30 through October 31.
October 31 is the last day of the month-long celebration, so there will be an large evening fiesta beginning with a procession including floats, Danzantes, bandas, and the carrying of La Virgen, herself, through the town. It starts around 5pm behind the church on Calle Galeana, and then heads east on Guadalupe Victoria, down Calle Aldama, west down Constitucion and Ocampo to Seis Esquinas (6 Corners) and back to the San Andres church to a welcome of the exuberant and rousing pealing of bells, brass bandas playing as several groups of Danzantes Aztecas with their drummers, heralded by the blowing of conch shells, and La Virgen, enter the church Atrium just before the twilight outdoor Mass as the sun sets - a truly dynamic and moving spectacular of jubilant and cacophonous sound healing.
After the Mass, people will gather in the Plaza when La Virgen will ceremoniously be carried back to her home in the Chapel, where she will be serenaded by Mariachis, and honored by more Danzantes outside. Later, there will be a Banda playing for dancing and enjoyment, and around 10:30 or 11pm, there will be a Castillo lit up in front of the Chapel on the Plaza - a preview of the San Andres fiesta in November which will have such events for 9 days straight, an awesome amount of fun.
The Virgen of Zapopan arrived in Ajijic on October 27. She remains until October 31 when Virgen of Rosario returns to her chapel.
Please note that Halloween is not celebrated in Mexico and that the above events have absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, although you might see small children (only) in costumes or masks, owing to the trickle down of US commercialism to Mexico. Instead of yelling Trick or Treat, they yell "Quiermos Halloween".
The past few years, Ajijic has participated in a Fundraiser for Cruz Roja, with Thriller, a dance that is sycronized throughout the world so everyone is dancing to Michael Jackson's hit 'Thriller'. This year the event is October 26th and will be held on the Ajijic Malecon at the basketball court, 5pm. Each Zombie asks friends and family to make a donation to “sponsor” them as a Zombie. You pledge/donate an amount to see your favorite Zombie (s) Dance. All proceeds go to Cruz Roja.Please contact Val Jones for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a GoFundMe page.
Heads Up for Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, which occurs every November 1 and 2, the 2nd being the larger day.
November 1 commemorates the Angelitos - the little angels, the children and babies who have died and gone to heaven's door to . In the cemetery, you'll see altars built for small children with milk, cookies, baby bottles, and stuffed toys - touching enough to make you cry.
Dia de los Muertos, has none of the spooky, evil, or macabre connotations of Halloween up north. In fact, it is a loving and heartfelt tribute to the dear departed loved ones and ancestors of the people. All the skulls and skeletons you'll be seeing are simply a very realistic depiction of the current state of their loved ones. After centuries of a long and bloody history, Mexicans are not afraid to look Death squarely in the face.
If you are still unsure, be sure to watch the movie Coco, as it will totally change your mind to see this celebration as a positive thing.
Traditionally celebrated in cemeteries throughout Mexico, families go together to visit the graves of their ancestors, bringing their favorite food, drinks and music in hopes that the spirits of their ancestors will come back to visit. It is a very happy/sad and moving experience as long-departed loved ones can be remembered with a light-hearted touch, while grieving continues for the newly departed. Many habitantes will sit up all night at the cemetery for this ancient ritual. The delegacion will have a guided tour through the Ajijic Pantheon (cemetery).
8th Annual Day of the Dead Tour and Ballet Folklorio will be on Saturday, November 2 at 2p.m. and 4p.m. Ajijic Panteon - Ocampo. Entrance fee is 200 pesos and you can purchase your Tickets at LCS Oct 31- Nov 1 - Nov 2 10 - 12. information 766-2304.
Everyone is invited to participate in the 2nd annual dia de muertos fiesta on Nov 2 at the Ajijic Plaza. Altars, carpets, folklorico, catrinas, music and workshops. For more info, 766 2373 or inquire at Centro Cultural Ajijic.
Night Parade of the Dead 7pm. Leaves from constitucion and calle aldama 7pm, continues on ocampo (same as constitucion as it changes names after colon), then returns east on hidalgo.
Everyone is invited to participate. Dress as catrinas or have an allegory float with lights and music.
Municipality of Chapala and Ajijic foreigner liasons.
Look at the Ajijic News Calendar for more events.
Chapala usually has many altars set up on Madero, the main street of Chapala, close to the malecon.
There will also be altars on Cinco de Mayo in Chapala on Nov 2 beginning at 6pm. This is the street where the altars have been for years and so it is a tradition.
Chapala has had a unique public 3-block-party with most of the residents of Calle 5 de Mayo building large altars outside their homes, celebrating there instead of the cemetery. This street is centrally located and easy to find on a map. Dia de los Muertos events generally commence at dark. Begins at 6pm. This may or may not happen this year.
The time, energy, creativity, love, and devotion that the people here put into these fabulous fiestas never fails to amaze and awe me. Please come out and enjoy the Real Mexico. The foreign presence is always so sparse at all these very rich, traditional, and fun events.
The Fiesta Season continues through November with Revolution Day and the always wonderful San Andres Fiesta. More later on these very enjoyable days. Stay tuned!