Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

Candelaria! Candelaria! Candelaria!

The 67th feast of flowers, new seeds, fertility, fertilizers, plants, and pots — La Feria de la Candelaria — has begun in Parque Juarez. The event continues through February 15.

A walk through the park this morning was truly transformative — for the park, and for me. How can you not be moved by the sheer enormity of gorgeous vegetation on display throughout every pathway, corner, and roundabout in the park?

While some of the 40-plus nursery exhibitors were still populating their corrals this morning, this is clearly the biggest Feria De La Candelaria to date.

If the Garden of Eden came with concrete pathways, basketball courts, a gazebo, and water fountains, Parque Juarez would be the next closest thing on Earth. Maybe even better. No forbidden fruit, from what I could see.

But Candelaria is more than a garden and plantings show.

As our weekly newspaper, Atencion, pointed out so well in a recent article by Rodrigo Diaz Guerrero:

“But one of the most relevant things for those who are part of the Candelaria Fair —and which is the indisputable reason for its existence— is the religious component, the vigil event: from the night of February 1 to the early morning of Day two, groups of shell-harvesters from various latitudes of the state, moved by spiritual conviction, arrive at Benito Juárez Park (the venue par excellence), with songs, jaranas, copals and various materials with which they will make, until the sun rises, the beautiful súchiles — altarpieces made, predominantly, of cucharilla (regional plant) — that are placed on and around the cross in the park, as a religious offering.

“The Velation is also an event in which attendees perform a thanksgiving and veneration ceremony with songs and praise, rituals and prayers to the Holy Cross and the Virgin of Candelaria. An evening where Mexican syncretism is lived at its best: the smell of copal, the sound of ancestral songs, the weaving of the altarpieces by expert hands, the green, red, sweet tamales, the atole that is served and drunk to warm the body, they make whoever witnesses the occurrence of these activities that remain foreign to many, feel dragged by the gale of time and history, by the richness of a tradition that must be admired and cared for, because it is part of our identity as Mexicans.”

Don’t fail to see the deep cultural and spiritual roots of this celebration through the forests of tulips, topiaries, and bougainvilleas.

Tomorrow morning, Feb. 2, a special Mass at Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua will include the blessing of the new seeds for the spring plantings and offer prayers for a successful growing season. There will be traditional dances from la compañía de los concheros del Valle del Maíz and invitees from other communities.

One of the most pleasurable events for the casual visitor is the daily presentation of musical and cultural events on the stage set up on the basketball courts. A listing of events, starting with tonight’s 7 p.m. opening dedication, is posted below.

The pictures, however, really tell the story. So much beauty compacted into what is already our most beautiful park.

Truly magical, San Miguel de Allende. Truly magical.


Put more magic in your life!

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