Tuxpan, Jalisco, is located in the southwestern part of the state of Jalisco, Mexico, very near to the state of Colima. You gotta love a place whose motto is “The Pueblo of the Eternal Fiesta,” and which welcomes you to town with the statue above of one of their nationally known rattle and ribbon vest dancers.
While Tuxpan has its fair share of fiestas, one of the best and biggest is that celebrating St. Sebastian. The fiesta runs from January 20 to February 2 each year. St. Sebastian is the one normally depicted as being tied up with lots of arrows sticking out of him. You know, like this one found on Wikipedia:
And somehow, ironically, he became the patron saint of … among others … archers, like this young fellow in Tuxpan:
On February 2, Tuxpan culminates the fiesta of San Sebastian and combines it with the celebration of Candlemas. If you don’t know what Candlemas is, I’ll leave it to you to look it up on your favorite search engine since the subject matter is a little, let’s say, delicate …. and I’m not talking about the presentation of Jesus at the temple part.
As in most Mexican parades and fiestas, there are elements of native beliefs combined with Catholic beliefs. So you get a group of marchers in ancient costumes marching into the temple. [WARNING: NPC … non politically correct comments to follow. And, yes, from me, a trained anthropologist!]
These folks, like the statue at the entrance to Tuxpan, are sonajeros, or rattle dancers. Not only do they wear the ribbon vests, they also carry the large rattles like the one the statue has in hand.
Also in the parade are the Chayacates dancers, who are known for their deer antler headdresses and long hair. Different groups have different colored “hair” and wear different types of clothing. In my head, I’ve named the groups. Here’s one that I like to call the “Smurf” group:
Here’s the “Purple gang” with a close up of their leader:
One of my favorites, the “George Clinton Parliament/Funkadelic” group. And if you are too young or too old to remember who that is, again use your favorite search engine to find out. [Aside: Shortly after George Bush, the father, was defeated in the US presidential election by Bill Clinton, I fell and got what turned out to be a concussion. At the emergency room, the attending doctor asked me the “usual” questions … my name, the date, the year, and who was president of the US. I flew through all the questions, including the one about who the president of the US was, to which I answered “George Clinton.” The doctor, who was about my age, went into gales of laughter and said, “We wish!”]
Then there was the group of “yellow hairs” or “General Custers”, large and small:
They were followed by the group I like to call the “Dumbledores” in a shout out to Harry Potter:
Which, in turn, were followed by the “MBAs.”
Who were followed by my own personal favorites, the “barb’s hair” group! If you’ve ever known me, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
In fact, I myself got into the parade!
It’s a great parade, and if you live in Mexico, I urge you to attend. If you are in the Lake Chapala area, it’s only about a two hour drive from here.
Ladies of all genders, I leave you with this picture. In my opinion, and, as Bob Dylan said, “If I can’t have my own opinion, who’s can I have?”, best looking guy I’ve seen in Mexico so far! He alone is worth the trip!