San Miguel de Allende


April 26, 2019

We celebrated Good Friday and Easter Sunday as San Miguel de Allende’s Semana Santa continued.

I went out in the morning on Good Friday to witness two somber events in Centro. The Trial of Christ and The Encounter With His Mother. On the walk into Centro I passed preparations for a neighborhood procession to take place in our Colonia San Antonio as altars were being set up in windows and doorways.

I had the decision to make, should I stay and watch this smaller event, or go in for the larger one. I decided to go in for the main event which was to start at 10am. At noon we were all still gathered in front of the Parroquia waiting, and waiting. Young girls dressed in white with wings and other participants were still sauntering into the Parroquia at this time. Were they all e-mailed that the event would start late? Or, was this just Mexico where things happen when they happen. 

But, in the end, it didn’t matter because about noon I received a phone call from Glenn. He locked himself out of the house and was in the back yard, luckily with his phone. Back home I went with the knowledge that we will have to go out next year to see the Good Friday morning events. 

Good friends of ours from Argentina arrived in the afternoon and although I am sure they were tired they were game to go out and see the evening procession, that of the Holy Burial. It too was a bit late to start, but well worth the wait. 

It is a somber procession of over two hours and has been taking place in San Miguel for more than 300 years. Roman soldiers lead and there are men in black suits and purple sashes, women; many in stilettos, dressed for a funeral with lace mantillas and white gloves, and young poised girls in white dresses scattering rose petals and chamomile. 

Women bear the weight of carrying large images of the Archangels, afterwards comes the heavy glass coffin with Christ’s body surrounded by a mound of flowers which is carried through by 36 men in black. The street is lined with lanterns. More saints follow. 

San Miguel de Allende is beautiful this time of year. Although we are not in any way religious we couldn’t help but be moved with how it celebrates Semana Santa. 

On the flip side, Easter Sunday is riotous!!! This is the Firing of the Judas effigies. In other words, blowing them to smithereens!! At noon big bright 6 foot paper mache statues with fireworks wrapped around their waists are strung up along the north side of the Jardin on Calle San Francisco. They represent unpopular authority figures and politicians along with a few comical characters. 

One by one they are lit up and limbs go flying with each explosion. We were actually quite close to some and the remnants of one went flying into my hair singeing it a bit. Ah, what we endure for entertainment!! But it did make everyone back off a some. 

The Gran Finale had to be non other than Donald Trump!!! A huge roar of the crowd greeted his entrance and an even larger one occurred when he met his demise. I wonder who picked up the scattered pieces in triumph. 

San Miguel continues to blow us away, in this case literally, with its magic. We have passed the one year anniversary of our move here and have never been happier. 

If you plan on coming to San Miguel for Semana Santa book early!! We have never seen so many people in town and the Calles and plazas are packed.

Do you have a story about your own experience with Semana Santa? Let us know in the comments. We love to find out what others think. Maybe you have a suggestion for us for next year. 

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