Mardi Gras or Carnaval in Ajijic means party!
Carnaval in Lake Chapala Area is one of the most important celebrations during the year, besides the day of the saint of each town around the lake. It’s a major celebration and a lot of people attend. I have been living in México for the past 18 years and this Martes de Carnaval is the first time I went to watch the parade in Ajijic. Everyone at the office were surprised I haven´t even heard about it. I didn´t know what to expect, I thought it was like the other parades I’ve been: costumes, cars with some decorations, music and that’s it. Priscilla, who works with us, lives in the heart of Ajijic so she, her family and friends attend it every year. This week we got clients in our Go Mexico Way Discovery Tour and we thought it was a good idea to take them to it. I went to take some pictures and I ended up having so much fun. Claire and Hans Van Loenen did too.
We got there at 11 a.m. so we could park at Priscilla’s garage before the police closed the streets were the parade was about to take place. We took a nice walk through the Ajijic’s board walk for half an hour and then we came back to Priscilla’s to take place just outside the door of her mom´s house.
The main attraction are the Zayacas, who are men and kids dressed like woman, wearing masks and throwing flour against each other and some times to the people that attend . Also there is a contest of the best comparsa, a group of friends or neighbors that get together to represent or satirize a fact in the common life. A couple of dozen groups participate, everyone giving his creativity in the name of fun and keeping traditions. Everyone makes a huge effort but my favorite one was the Mariachi car, with his sign “Por culpa del alcohol, una boda resultó” (because of the alcohol a wedding happened) you just have fun seeing them because you can tell they were having such a great time.
With a heart shape sign: Just Married
Also I like very much La Asociación de Charros de Ajijic (Charro’s Association of Ajijic), beautiful suits and horses.
I’m Mexican but it still amazes me to see the traditions that some take for granted.
The parade starts in the Lienzo Charro and goes through Constitución Street and then turns into Colón to finish at the main square were the jury decides who is the winner of the contest.
I haven’t seen so many people together in Ajijic in my life, not even in the major celebration which is the day of Saint Andrew, on November 30th.
I came home and told my mom how much fun I had and she asked me to bring her next year.
Here are a couple more pictures...