CELEBRATION AND FESTIVAL OF SAINT MICHAEL

“Alborada” is the Celebration of Saint Michael Archangel, Patron saint of San Miguel de Allende . The main religious festivity is celebrated each year the weekend following September 29th, so the date can vary between September and October.

This Festivity starts with “La Alborada”, a Friday night full of music and fireworks, in the main square, this ends with Las Mañanitas to Saint Michael Archangel. The following Saturday many communities bring to the Saint offerings called “Xuchiles” made with flowers, bread and cucharilla, and these communities are accompanied with conchero dancers up to the main square. On Sunday there is a parade of dancers from Zacatecas, Morelos, Veracruz, Jalisco, Queretaro and other cities, just to offer their dance to the Saint. These 3 days we can enjoy of the fireworks in the main plaza in the heights.

This September event is San Miguel de Allende’s very own party, the saint’s day for our own patron saint. Unlike the grito, this feels like a big family party. It’s for the locals. It doesn’t draw flocks of tourists from far-flung places, but families come into town from the campo to enjoy the holiday. On the nearest Friday, everyone stays up all night for the Alborada, which roughly translates as something like “to attack the dawn.” At 3 a.m. the larger-than-life puppets known as mojigangas arrive in the square. Around 4 a.m., another monumental fireworks display begins, featuring several castillos. The famous Voladores de Papantla, the Papantla Flyers, set up their pole in the esplanade in front of the church and perform their gut-wrenching feat several times throughout the weekend. This involves five men climbing to the top of the pole. Four of them attach themselves to ropes while the fifth stands on a tiny (like 12″ square tiny!) platform at the very top and plays a flute. The other four fall off the top and slowly spin on the ends of their ropes until they reach the ground. It is graceful and lovely to watch, and the ´voladores’ performances are always among the most popular of all September events in San Miguel de Allende. The weekend also features more conchero dancers, the Xúchiles—huge floral arrangements made of cactus fronds and marigolds mounted on bamboo frames—carried to the church and a pair of parades with dozens of floats. It’s the happiest party of the year.

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