Saturday, September 29, 2012

San Miguel, The patron saint of San Miguel

September 29th is the Archangel Saint Michael's day (el dia de San Miguel Arcangel), the patron saint of San Miguel de Allende.  The front altar of the Parroquia, the parish church right in the center of town, San Miguel is surrounded by large urns full of colorful and fragrant flowers.
San Miguel is God's commander-in-chief in the war against the Devil.  Even thou he is the general  of heavenly hosts and a formidable military figure, he looks like a young boy.  Church regulations forbid artists to depict sexual characteristics such as beards, breasts... He is seen leaving the Parroquia as part of the celebration and procession through town in his honor.           
How appropriate that San Miguel is the patron saint of San Miguel de Allende where the fight from freedom from Spain was at the center of this very town.
Part of the procession is a float with a young lady portraying San Miguel with her youthful appearance.
A few ladies are carrying the small shrine with San Miguel back into the Parroquia where is will remain until next year.
At the end of the procession, this Xuchile is erected in front of the Parroquia along with  a few others.  Xuchiles are offerings of flowers built upon platforms made of reeds and wood.  The structures are decorated with colorful flowers such as marigolds and pieces from the interior of a cactus called cucharilla (meaning little spoon).
Often San Miguel is depicted wearing his shield and carrying his scales, ready to fight or to judge.
It is a weekend of dancing, music, parades, the towns people dressed in different costumes, pageantry and a lot of fireworks!  It is an exciting time and not one to be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment