(#6 of 20 things I’ll miss about San Miguel)
In mid-June, San Miguel celebrates El Día de los Locos. I haven’t been able to sort out exactly how it originated, just that it is rooted in two religious celebrations and has turned into something like Carnaval. So many people participate in the parade that I was surprised that any remained available to be an audience–it probably helps that people come into town from all over the area just to watch. We walked half a mile along the route before finding a tiny spot to squeeze into.
The traditional costume, apparently, is men in drag, but there is a tremendous variety beyond that. This year’s official theme was the bicentennial of independence and the centennial of the Revolution; the unofficial theme seemed to be the World Cup; Mexico’s first game, vs. South Africa, was a couple of days off.
This man combined drag with support for Mexico’s team. His old-woman-with-the-generous-posterior costume seemed typical, though we saw some very pretty young men as very pretty young women, too.
Now this would intimidate the South African team:
Joy took, I am not exaggerating, almost 300 photos (almost all of these are hers). Here’s a tiny sample.
The parade went about an hour too long and at about 20 decibels beyond my comfort level; I was in the early stages of a flulike thing that ended up being a very persistent sore throat and earache. (I had terrible tinnitus for a few days, which was probably caused by a combination of my congestion and the unbelievably loud music from the floats and, the previous evening, the dance music at the related church festivities. Judging from San Miguel, Mexicans must all go deaf at an early age, because they don’t seem to believe in setting the volume at anything below earsplitting.) But just the same, it was an event to remember. If we manage to be in San Miguel for another Día de los Locos someday, we’re going to find a friend (or a stranger who wants to make a few pesos) with a rooftop along the parade route, and I’m going to bring earplugs, and I’m sure we’ll take another 300 photos and have a great time.