Today’s Fiestas Mixing Indigenous Culture into Catholicism

By Joseph Toone

San Miguel is distinguished by its religious festivities, a mixture of an ancestral pagan past and the Catholic faith. This mixture is explained in a new web site,

San Miguel lies on the northern frontier of Mesoamerican civilization which contains the regional Chichimeca and Otomi tribes. Their influence is still felt in SMA’s more unique Catholic traditions and celebrations, including not only the big fiestas like the Día de Muertos and Día de los Locos, but also smaller fiestas like Mary’s birthday and the Blessing of Pets.

CatholicSMA was written by local storyteller, Joseph Toone, who researched local traditions for over a year and wrote short stories about each. He will present these stories in a series of classes and lectures next month in the Santa Ana Theater, the Instituto Allende’s Lifelong Learning Program, and other local fundraising events. For more information visit and


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