Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas in Denver with a touch of Mexico

Hoping you all had a Merry Christmas!  This year I decided I would use all my Mexican decorations to adorn the tree.  And what a colorful tree it turned out to be.  There is a story behind each decoration and fond memories on what market in Mexico I found these treasures.
Years ago I had been up at the Tuesday in San Miguel de Allende with my brother, Carter.  There was a man selling these colorful little baskets that he had about 20 strung together like a stringer of fish.  I could not resist and ended up buying about three strands of the baskets with the intention that some year I would decorate my Christmas tree with them.  Well, I finally did.
  The fabric Mexican couple is one of my market finds.
Paper maiche dolls, munecas, from Celaya.

For years I have been collecting little ceramic pots and plates at the Friday market in Patzcuaro in the state of Michoacan.  I used to decorate twig wreaths with these pots along with other treasures that I found in the various markets around Mexico.

A hombre with his straw hat and serape.

A ceramic hand-painted pinata that I bought in Guanajuato at Gorky Gonzales's studio.  You can also find them at my friends beautiful shop, Camino Silvestre, in San Miguel along with other ceramic pieces by Gorky.
Heart shaped milagros on the tree.  I had originally bought several of these in the San Miguel market, just below the open food market, to use as decorations on bundles of heart shaped shortbread cookies that I gave to friends on Valentine's Day.
On my last Oaxaca tour, I bought several tin churches to use as decorations on the Christmas presents.  Having a Mexican theme, everyone had to relinquish theirs after they opened their gifts and hang it on the tree.  Next trip I will have to pick up a few more.
Of course I had to have several tin mermaids on the tree.  Len, my husband, nicknamed my ladies water aerobic group at the Denver Athletic Club, the Mermaids.  And that is what were are referred to!
A hand-painted ceramic cross from Dolores Hidalgo, a town 25 minutes from San Miguel, known for its Talavera pottery.

 My mom had bought these black ceramic angel candle holders in San Miguel.  They are all playing different instruments.  They originally came from a small town south of Oaxaca City, San Bartola de Coyotepec.
I'm a day late in getting this out there.  I was to busy cooking and enjoying Christmas Eve and day with Len and my parents.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and best wishes for a happy New year.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Join me in celebrating the patron San Miguel Archangel in San Migeul de Allende - September 29 - October 5, 2017

September 29th is the day that honors the patron saint of San Miguel de Allende, San Miguel Archangel.  According to the Bible, Saint Michael (San Miguel) Archangel defeated Lucifer and he then became the symbol of good over evil and life over death.   And how appropriate that San Miguel is where the fight from freedom from Spain was fought.

In my opinion, this weekend, starting on the 29th, is the most colorful and celebrated.   
You will see the wild Mojigangas (giant paper mache figures) and parades featuring the Conchero dancers and the Chino dancers.  There will be religious processions with beautifully designed Xuchiles, the offerings of flowers built upon platforms made of reeds and sticks, then decorated with flowers, mostly marigolds, and cucharillas, the interior of a cactus meaning little spoon.  You will never encounter a weekend as extravagant as this! 
One of the Xuchiles with San Maguel Archangel at the top is propped up to create an decorative archway leading to the Parroquia, the main parish church, right in the center of town.
The interior of the Parroquia is lavishly decorated with floral arrangements.
The beautifully costumed Conchero dancers performing in front of the Parroquia.  This dance represents the conflict between the Spaniards and the indigenous people.
What a striking young lady in her feathered and beaded outfit.
And music...
 Along with the Chinos representing the Spanish Moors.

You will see the the Volvadores de Papantla (the flying pole dance). It is a centuries old tradition, one that the Aztecs performed.  A tall pole is set up in the middle of a plaza, fitted with a small (and I mean small!) revolving platform on top.   Four fliers and a musician climb to the top. The flyers wear a hat with a crest of feathers which give reference to eagles or macaws, the birds dedicated to the sun.
A ceremony is performed at the top on a small platform.  The musician (the captain) faces each direction and leans back, arching his back as he plays his flute and drum. 
The other four men tie the ropes around themselves and fly down.  Making 13 revolutions around the pole and turning a somersault to land lightly on their feet as they reach the ground.  The captain increases the tempo of the music as they near the bottom.  They do not free themselves from the rope until the captain has joined them.  The captain slides down one of the ropes, reaching the ground at the same time as the flyers, without having stopped playing his instruments. Then they all take leave of the rope and dance around the pole.  The crowd goes crazy with applause and admiration.
Numerous Castillos, wooden towers covered with fireworks and rocket-propelled pinwheels,
erected right in front of the Parroquia.
And one of my all time favorite ceremonies is the blessing of the cowboys and their horses.  Riders from all over ride into town from the surrounding pueblos and congregate in front of the Parroquia to be blessed by the priest.  

Join me September 29 - October 5, 2017  for a wonderful week in San Miguel de Allende.  Experience the exceptional treasures of San Miguel; its beautiful colonial architecture, delicious cuisine, native culture, comfortable climate, elegant accommodations, endless shopping and outstanding service. 
A walking tour on Day Two with lunch at one of my favorite restaurants.  We will take a few side trips.  One will be a day over in Dolores Hidalgo and Guanajuato  where we will experience the elegant architecture, the Opera House, Diego Rivera Museum, ceramic studios and a sublime, gourmet meal.  Another day we will visit two unique homes in the countryside and the Sanctuary of Atotonilco (often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of Mexico).  And much, much more!

For more information, contact me at  Please include your full name and mailing address.