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The City’s Pre-Christmas Festivities Begin

Árbol en Plaza Cívica

Coro en colonia San Antionio

Coro en Plaza Cívica

Hermes Arroyo creator of the exhibited Nativity scene

Músicos en las posadas

Nativity scene at Plaza Cívica, made by Hermes Arroyo

Pilgrims at the Posadas Públicas

Feria de la Nochebuena

By Jesús Aguado

The San Miguel de Allende Christmas program began last week with lighting the public trees in the San Antonio neighborhood and in the Plaza Cívica.

The celebrations continue December 16–24 with the annual public posadas (Christmas festivities commemorating the night of Jesus’s birth). They feature processions with religious pilgrims dressed as Mary, Joseph, and the Angel Gabriel, who pass through the streets in a cart. The processions also feature live music and Christmas carols.

With this kickoff to the Christmas season, the public markets become fully decked out with Christmas decorations. You can find all kinds of ornaments at the Ignacio Ramírez and San Juan de Dios markets. Traditional poinsettias are on sale at Parque Juárez.

The posadas’ history

Posadas have been going on in San Miguel at least since 1913, according to a document published in 1995 by city historian José Cornelio López Espinosa. However, historic events have sometimes interfered with this religious tradition. The antireligious Cristero War, for example, canceled them for years. The tradition was restored in 1939, according to Gloria Navarrete, a Sanmiguelense who portrayed the Virgin Mary in a posada in 1956.

The year she participated, the cart carrying the Joseph, Mary, and the Angel was the one used for collecting city trash. People dressed as shepherds headed the procession, singing Christmas carols accompanied by a sax, guitar, and trumpet.

The pilgrims followed the musicians, said Navarrete. “There was a very old cart carrying the piano of Antonio Correa and a choir. At every stop of the procession, they sang San Miguel Christmas carols.”

Check this year’s posada routes in Qué Pasa’s Festivals and Events section.


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