Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today in San Miguel de Allende and Patzcuaro, Our Lady of Sorrows (Nuestra Senora de los Dolores) is observed.  It is a colonial tradition which commemorates the suffering of the Virgin Mary.  You will find the decorated "altars of Dolores" in many homes, businesses and public spaces.  The altars range from simple to very elaborate that might take up the entire entry of a home.
The use of purple, white and green is used to decorate the altars.
This home altar was very impressive and I can not imagine all the creativity and effort that went into putting this together.  This altar is decorated with flowers, oranges, sprouting wheat, corn, grains, corn, chamomile, sand...
Some hotels have created small altars.
The homes open their doors at night to the town folk.  The visitors are offered fruit drinks, ice cream and treats by the hosts.
Many of the Virgin Mary's were just beautiful.
An elaborate altar was constructed under the arcade off the Don Vasco Plaza in Patzcuaro.  I was overwhelmed by the creativity and all the different elements that went into making this altar: the papel picado (cut tissue paper), ceramics, pewter, mercury balls.  Just beautiful!
At the front of the last altar, this "plaque" at the base of the display was all made out of different colored corn kernels and dried flowers.  It is sight not to be missed, it is the Friday before Palm Sunday.

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