Guanajuato 2014

Happy New Year Everyone

I hear the weather has been pretty bad in the UK.  It has also cooled off here and we’ve had some terrific winds, but its settled down for now.

So how do Mexicans celebrate the festive season?  Well very loudly and with great joy!!

The Lady of Guadalupe Festival started the festive season off on December 12.  This celebration began late at night, with people filing up the hill to the church.  They carried images of the Virgin and music abounded, with drumming bands from all over the city, and of course the ubiquitous fireworks going off.  We left at 1am and the celebrations continued throughout the night with fireworks and mortars echoing through the valley.  Another lively Mexican event!

Christmas celebrations really centre around the 24th of December.  We were fortunate to spend it with a Mexican family.  The evening kicked off around 11 pm with traditional songs being sung around the rocking of a baby Jesus, this we were all invited to kiss, before it was placed in the centre of the family’s nativity scene. We shared in a lovely meal of tamales, shrimp patties in a special mole sauce and roast turkey … delicious!

We had our own gringo Christmas and Boxing Day and climbed the local mountain  The Bufa, standing at 8,000 ft. The view of Guanajuato was spectacular. To our surprise our rescue dog Panda made it right to the very top.

Today Jan 6th is Kings Day, Dia de Los Reyes, when the 3 wise men brought gifts to the baby Jesus.  Here in Mexico this is the day for children, when they receive their gifts and a special cake in the shape of a wreath, the Rosca de Reyes is eaten. Inside the cake is a doll representing the baby Jesus and this figure symbolises the hiding of the infant Jesus from King Herod’s troops.  Whoever finds the doll must host a party on Dia de la Candelaria in February…. or swallow the doll!!

Another celebration we came across just yesterday was a Pilgrimage of thousands of Caballeros on horses, The Cabalgata.  These men and just a few women, trek for 2 days each year to receive mass at the Cristo Rey, a mountain at the very heart of Mexico 9,000 ft high and topped by a 20 metre statue of Christ.  They are the original descendants of the Cristeros, Catholics that were outlawed by the government in 1927.

Even with all the Christmas festivities I’m still engrossed in learning some more of the local ceramic techniques, and stayed up late one night to fire them.  Soon I’m off to explore the ceramics of Michoacan, but first to the beach for a week ….Bufa cave Bufa Panda Bufa sue kiln N Y eve Pilgramage cristo rey Salida Skull bowl mk 2