Sunday, June 17, 2007

Los Locos

Today was the annual Los Locos celebration in San Miguel de Allende.

It's a little hard to describe why this event takes place but the best analogy for what this is would be to think of Tampa's Gasparilla Invasion/Parade. Or, if you don't know about Gasparilla - just think of a big parade with floats and costumes.

Anyway, the festivity apparently has it's roots in a mix of religious festivity and late spring harvest rituals. The surrounding areas of San Miguel were once filled with orchards and during the harvest at this time of the year, the farmers would celebrate by coming into the town and dancing around a lot. The locals started to come and watch, crowding the event. So, the farmers tried to scare them off with scarecrow costumes and trapped live animals that they would bring from the more rural areas -- including skunks and raccoons. The townspeople called these farmers - los locos.

In addition, the tradition of scaring the city turned into the more modern tradition of wearing something akin to our Halloween costumes.

While the holiday seems to have it's roots in more Pagan areas centered on harvesting, like most Latin American religious celebrations, there is a heavy blend of Catholicoliscism as well -- so the Los Locos celebration now always falls on the first Sunday after San Antonio Day (June 13) and includes a celebration for 3 other Catholic icons as well -- San Isidro, Corpus Christ, and most notably, San Pascual Bailon. I say most notably because this is the original Saint that the orchard workers adopted.

Like the Gasparilla crews, the Los Locos parade is organized and participated in by 4 groups - called Cuadros.

Well, I think that's about as good of a description as I can give. Fortunately, Blogger now allows video uploads so hopefully a few videos and photos can do better justice than my words.

...and some photos

For more information on Los Locos, check out the English weekly in San Miguel - Atencion

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