La Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption)

Every August, one of the two churches within two blocks of us, La Iglesia de San Sebastian hosts a 10-day celebration. La Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption), which runs this year, 2008, from August 5 - 15.

We have walked around a bit when activities are happening but haven't really been to involved. Saturday night there was a band and dancing and carnival rides, and food booths, and lots of people, and, and, and.... There have been a number of processions (parades). Today we went up for te start of today's parade. Sunday is always a big turnout.
Here are some pictures from today's parade.





This year the signs all include the 'Gremio de Mestizos'. I don't remember this last year but that's not really saying too much. The Gremio is like a Union, and Mestizos refer to the local indigenous population.
Here's an interesting perspective:
Journal Article Excerpt
Cultural Continuity and Change in Gremio Fiestas in Yucatan.
by Christina Turner

Festivals are intrinsically paradoxical and multidimensional emphasizing contradictory functions as the specific cultural moment dictates. Festival traditions allow for historical continuity while incorporating societal change. They are a means of flexible adaptation that supports both social solidarity and the status quo. Festivals buttress hierarchical, closed caste/class systems while fostering status and prestige building within those systems through consensus and cooperation. The very act of role reversal delineates the dominant status role. Despite the various forms that festival traditions may take and the different historical paths that lead to them, they are similar in function and structure.
Thus, Glenda Joy Driskell (1981:15) writes in the introduction to her ethnomusicological exploration of the festival tradition in Yucatan that, "the fiesta has been variously extolled as a source of cultural continuity, a foundation of village integration, and a bulwark against exploitation by wealthy Yucatecans. It has also been condemned by economists as an impediment to economic progress and as a mechanism of colonial control."
In a similar vein, Olga Najera Ramirez (1988: 146-147) discusses how the "festival represents a different world view because it encourages multiple dialogues, allows for alternatives to be expressed and therefore has revolutionary tendencies. ...
One thing lucky for us is that Tom doesn't suffer from PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He swears the firecrackers they are blowing up sound like the mortars from when he was in the service. The start about 5:30 in the morning and don't let up till after midnight. We are not getting our full share of sleep this week so if we're a bit cranky, well...
On the 15th there is a special event where they fill paper baloons with hot air from candles and release them. I'll try to photograph that and post some pictures.
It's funny because our neighbors tell us to be sure to go up for the events, but we never see any of them. We do get some looks though. Not mean or ugly, just interest and curiosity.