Ash Wednesday and Valentine's DayFebruary 15 in Mexico
Church bells rang all day. Nonstop. Ding, ding, dong. All day.
Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Church bells started to ring early in the morning reminding the faithful that it is time to go to church for mass where the priest would draw the sign of the cross in ashes on their forehead. This is a sign of repentance and is meant to remind people of their mortality. Here, many people left the ash crosses on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.
It is also El Dia de Amor y Amistad, the day of love and friendship. A few days ago, little kiosks were set up and vendors were selling tiny bags of candies, chocolates and red items for Valentines Day. The bakeries were busy selling cakes decorated with white icing and strawberries. Flower vendors had lovely bouquets of red and white carnations or roses.
In the evening, we walked to the same Plaza Grande that had hosted the Carnival activities and it had transformed into a romantic oasis. Balloon vendors, romantic music played through the park’s speakers and a giant balloon heart for photos had been set up so friends and families could feel loved.
At one end of the park, a stage was set up and chairs put out for anyone who wanted to hear a local crooner, Martin Paz, play and sing romantic Mexican songs. He was followed by a mariachi band. But while the band was setting up, the city gave away gift after gift for Valentine’s day. First, every woman got a small flower bouquet. Then numerous cakes, and chocolates and gift certificates were given to people who had birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. in February. It took at least 45 minutes to give away all the gifts!
Once again, we had a lovely evening in Patzcuaro.Read more