To say I’ve missed certain things during this year-plus of Covid 19 shutdown is an under statement. Prior to the pandemic, life happened in the streets of San Miguel de Allende. Parades, festivals, fiestas, holiday celebrations all took to the streets to acknowledge the Mexican sense of fun, playfulness, and traditions.
Music, laughter, crowds, colors, joy, and the honoring of mores, history and cultural customs sprang up on any given day or week or month. Walking the streets of SMA was an experience marked with surprise and delight.
But, since early 2020, the streets have been empty, fireworks silenced, parks closed, faces covered. San Miguel has been a somber city, as have towns throughout the world. And I missed it all, even the all night booming of fire crackers, a hallmark of Mexican holidays.
Slowly, life is returning. Vendors are beginning to display their brightly colored balloons, dolls, and hats, to the growing number of visitors who are still protecting themselves with face coverings.
San Miguel Vendors Returning
Day of the Crazies
One of my favorite celebrations is in June: Dia de los Locos (literally Day of the Crazies), and features parades, music, and people acting like they are nuts. Last year, of course, it was cancelled. This year several hundred participants paraded from the San Antonio church in south SMA along the streets to the Parroquia in the center of town. Although abbreviated, the costumes were wonderful, brilliant, and joyful. And as its name suggests, the paraders were in the full outrageous spirits, dancing, shouting, and throwing candy to the onlookers.
No where in Mexico are the festivities as loud, energetic and ‘Mardi Gras like’ than in San Miguel for the Locos celebrations. Below I’ve attached several pictures of the masks worn in this year’s parade. Some depict cartoon characters, politicians, monsters, storybook characters, and illustrations of the marchers’ imagination. Stomping their feet, dancing, shimmying, and singing, the crazy participants enjoy the event as much as the onlookers.
Celebration of Saint Antonio, Favored Saint of SM
Held on June 13 each year is the Celebration of San Miguel Archangel Patron saint Saint Anthony of Padua, the second most important saint in San Miguel. Nightly fireworks for a week or more lead up to the day, and you won’t be surprised to see a pickup showcasing a statute of Saint Anthony holding a child, and a priest reciting blessings making its way throughout the San Antonio colonia. This year the 2 celebrations coincided since the Locos festival is held on the weekend nearest to June 13.
San Antonio is, among other things, the saint you request help finding anything lost, from a loved one, a toy, or to a pair of earrings. Celebration San Antonio is all about giving thanks for having found them.
I’m looking forward to more parades as the threat of Covid-19 subsides, and I’ll let you know what celebrations are usually observed each month. Living in San Miguel is a treat year around.