These specific spectacular costumes only appear once a year for this celebration. The intricate beadwork is dazzling.

Voladores de Papantla is a ritual honoring the earth and the movement of the years as specified in the Mesoamerican calendar.

Five men climb to the top of a 100-foot tall pole onto a small platform. One man plays the flute as four men with thick ropes tied to their ankles at the same moment let themselves fall backward off of the platform. The four men slowly descend, like birds making 13 rotations before touching the ground. The ceremony pays homage to the four corners of the earth, the four winds, the four elements, the four seasons, and all the gods throughout the earth.

This weekend is La Alborada, my favorite Fiesta of the year. The festivities go on for about a week celebrating Archangel Michael, the patron saint of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Music, dancing, parades, processions, and fireworks fill the days and nights.
Saturday afternoon is the blessing of the horses. The Jardin, or Town Square is filled with horses from the surrounding countryside.

No celebration would be complete without fireworks. The fireworks here are beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.

Castillos are spinning towers of fireworks. Made of bamboo with fireworks taped on, these structures are sometimes 4 stories high. Burning parts spin, and as a grand finale, the top flies off sending a flaming light through the night sky.

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May your life be filled with light and magic,

Dr. Cynthia

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