Purple was the Gala Color for Thursday of Corpus Christi
By Jesús Aguado
The fiesta of Christ’s Flesh and Blood (Corpus Christi) is celebrated the first Thursday of June. Although it is a celebration of decadence, some families still place the most beautiful altars in the houses of the historic center.
Corpus Christi, according with the chronicles of Samuel Gómez and Donato Almanza, was a very special date for young people and children. For children, it was a day more exiting than Three King’s Day because they could choose the cardboard toys that they wanted; for the young men and woman it was a wonderful day because they could stroll around with their new clothes and also taste the delicious tamales and atole. Nowadays, not too many people attend to watch the procession; there are no food stands or stands for buying the toys.
On the Thursday of Corpus Christi, the Holy Sacrament was carried through the streets of the historic center. Since early morning that day, families hung purple fabrics from their balconies and set up all kinds of altars with the representation of flesh and body of Jesus Christ: grapes, bread, and wheat. The procession with Jesus Christ’s body—sheltered in the sacred receptacle—left from the parish of St. Michael the Archangel around 8pm and followed the calles Correo, Corregidora, San Francisco, and Relox, where the most showy altar was that of the Rayas family. After Relox, the procession continued to Mesones and the first stop on that street was at the Perez Bautista family, where they decorated the offering with stars made of brass. At every altar, the procession stopped and the father prayed for the family.
Also on Mesones, the Dominica Mothers set up their altar, and on Hidalgo the Mercedarias nuns did as well. The procession ended at the parish. The flowers and aromatic herbs were the most abundant elements of the altars.