One of the things you can’t help experiencing if you’re here between Halloween and New Years is a never-ending succession of festivals. There seems to be a patron saint for everything. And each one apparently deserves a festival of its own.
When there’s a multi-day festival, the day is usually ushered in with a blast of fireworks from the church courtyard sometime between 6:00 and 7:00 am, followed by church bells. Depending on which group is sponsoring that day’s fireworks, it can last less than a minute up to several minutes long. Some veteran Gringos living the near the church have gotten used to the noise. Unfortunately, as some complain, their dogs have not.
Some evening festivities can go well into the wee morning hours. I’ve tried to take photos in the evenings. But, because my camera doesn’t like flashing lights and contrasts between the light and dark, they never turn out well. That’s why you haven’t seen any here (except the one above).
One of the big festivals here is San Andres, the patron saint of Ajijic. It falls around Thanksgiving, and lasts 9 days. Travel agencies run 5-day trips to Puerto Vallarta so Gringos can escape the celebration and eat their turkey in peace.
While searching for other bloggers in the Lakeside area, I ran across an interesting blog, 2cycle2gether.com, by Kai and Sheila who are cycling around the world. Apparently, they’ve spent a bit of time in the area, and I think I’ve even passed them in the streets of Ajijic.
In a blog post on December 23, Sheila caught Ajijic at a moment that I wished I had – the final evening of San Andres. She obviously has a much better camera than me. You can see her sharp and crisp pictures here.
The video above is also in the blog post. At about 4 minutes in the video, you’ll see towers of fireworks in the church courtyard, and a person climbing to the top to light them. What you can’t see is the hundreds of people gathered in the courtyard below admiring the pyrotechnics.
I was there, standing on the street outside the courtyard wall. As the roman candles burst into the sky, one must have knocked a still-lit pinwheel, about a foot across, from its perch at the top of the right tower. It landed right next to me.
Whoa!!! They don’t allow us to have that much fun in the States!