photography, San Miguel de Allende

Parque Juarez transforms into a colorful Garden of Eden for the 66th annual Candelaria

It seems cruel to talk about Spring and plants and flowers at the end of January, but here we are.

In a week or so, we celebrate the 40th day after the birth of Christ, the day on which the Mother Mary took her child to the temple.

In tandem with this religious celebration, many gardeners, growers, plant suppliers, and others gather in a San Miguel park for a week and turn it into a veritable Garden of Eden. Hundreds of people flock to the park to buy flowers, cacti, bushes, fruit trees, herbs, ornamentals, vines, ground covers even giant earthen pats to contain them all. If it grows, it goes.

The event is called the ‘Feria de la Candelaria’ and it has been a San Miguel de Allende tradition for 66 years.

If you want to know more about the religious observance Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas Day) — February 2 — here is a good description in DiscoverSMA.

After a 2020 Covid hiatus and a year at Parque Zeffarino — San Miguel’s newest municipal park — the much-anticipated event is back in its natural home Parque Juarez starting Friday, January 28. The garden sale runs through February 11.

There will be free parking at the municipal parking lot on El Cardo, two blocks away from Parque Juarez.

In anticipation, workers have been sprucing up the already beautifully refurbished park for days. Concrete walls and benches have been given a fresh coat of paint, fountains have been cleaned and revitalized, the vegetation has been trimmed and tended to. A stage has been set up on the basketball court for artistic and cultural programs, the traditional blessing of the seeds, traditional dancing, and more.

The city is hailing the return of this event to Parque Juarez as a way to “recover this Sanmiguelense tradition,” part of a larger program to “return traditional events to their iconic places.”

While the Caldelaria does not begin until Friday, commercial growers and vendors have been moving their goods into the park and setting up all day Wednesday. Already, the park has taken on the glorious air of verdant renewal with pathways filled with brilliant colors and greenery.

Here are a few more photos from our evening walk Wednesday.

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