I have gone to every Hanal Pixán, and the Paseo de las Ánimas here in my neighborhood since we settled in to our house. I rave about the event. It is my favorite event of the year. I don't attend other fabulous events so as not to miss this one.
Here are a couple of my posts about the Hanal Pixán, and the Paseo de las Ánimas from the past.
We have seen an evolucion of this event over the past few years. Each year more and more people attend. We were surprised when about 3 or 4 years ago the City started setting up a stage and scheduling performances. We see more and more government sponsored altars.
We see more often government officials coming to have foto ops, both with the government sponsored altars and at some of the family altars.
We notice more and more police presence, mostly for crowd control.
We see more and more food selling booths.
See the City's webpage on the event here!
This year, I once again raved about it. Even went so far as to invite a group of folks over early enough that they could get parking in front of our house. We snacked, drank, and visited till near on to 7:30. I explained that once we got to 66 a group our size could not stay together, it's just too hard. So we split in to smaller groups and crossed paths during the evening.
This year the event was to start at 6pm, at the Cementerio General, progress North on 66 to La Ermita, then proceed for the first time on to parque de San Juan. Always in the past La Ermita was the terminus.
It was curious to me that this year the advertising stated that the event would start so early, at 6PM. But hey, things happen, things changed.
So about 7:30 we head over, just a block away. The crowds are staggering. I've never seen so many people. At one point I got caught in one of those human crushs, wedged so tightly in a group that you can't move.
A rather narrow passage had been created between the new stage location and the house on the opposite side of the street. There was no order and people were trying to go in both directions with no one giving, We were all stopped in this human sardine can effect, when finally a group of maybe twenty something years old boys decided to affect some change. The started pushing through the crowd causing those already stuck and pressed to start losing their balance. At one point I had to grab an older woman as she was slowly slipping down. It was quite frightening. I glanced around for Tom and saw him, also stuck about 20 feet behind. There was nothing we could do. I made it through once the movement started, and was able to make my way around the park.
Later on the police became a human divider and forced to lanes, one in each direction - This really helped.
This is a foto of a crowd later on, one that was not so scary or dangerous, but still quite intimidating.
Ir was the placement of the stage that created a serious bottleneck, as people wanted to watch., And there were only a select few with in a ringed perimeter around the stage that could enjoy any of the performances. The rest of us could catch glimpses as we filed past.
We were barely able to see the altars until well past about calle 81 on 66.
When we finally managed to get farther South on 66, things opened up. We could see the altars, and some of the costumed participants -
We waited and waited, but there were no signs or signals of the procession getting anywhere near. Finally, about 9:30, we were getting foot sore and back tired, so we headed home. We thought we'd go back after a bit, but others from our earlier invitees stopped in. And well, that was that. We missed the Paseo, and I'm not sure I'll pass up other events next year to be able to do this one again. It may have run it's course for me.
OR, maybe I'll go to the cemetery and then follow the procession???????