The Grand Fiesta May Be Over, But There’s More Fun to Be Had
By Jesús Aguado
Surrounded by music, dancing and fireworks, Sanmiguelenses enacted their traditional annual celebrations last weekend to honor St Michael the Archangel.
The fiesta, which has many indigenous roots, began on Friday, September 27, in the three oldest neighborhoods of San Miguel: El Valle del Maíz, La Aurora, and La Estación. There, traditionalists brought out giant wooden stars decorated with colored paper to represent the dawn and began carrying them from 2am on Saturday, September 28, in a noisy, exuberant procession toward the Jardín Principal.
At 4am, 300 kilos of powder were burnt as an offering to St Michael, the city’s patron saint, in an annual event called la Alborada (the Dawn). The result was a shower of fireworks over the Jardín that lasted one hour.
Later on Saturday, at 5pm, hundreds of dancers from across the country filled the streets of the Historic Center again with music, feathers, and traditional dances. Traditionalists carried 13 xúchiles, devout offerings in the form of crosses, that were later erected by the façade of the Parroquia. Saturday night ended up with yet more fireworks.
On Sunday, homage was paid to the city’s founder—Friar John, whose statue sits adjacent to the Parroquia.
The fiesta continues this weekend: on Sunday, the Archangel San Miguel Stroll will pass through the Historic Center’s streets. Check our supplement, Que Pasa, for more details.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something a bit less steeped in tradition to do this weekend, this year’s more modern San Miguel Fair runs daily from 4pm to midnight. Admission is just 40 pesos. There are rides, food, fair games, and the traditional pan de nata, a common Guanajuato feria bread that is often coated decoratively with sugar or heavy cream.
The fair is located on the road to Los Rodríguez.