Fiesta season begins with eyes to the skies

Summer is coming to an end here in the Lake Chapala area, and that means fiestas. It started Saturday, Sept. 14, with Regata de Globos. This is a celebration unique to Ajijic that dates to the 1960s. You can read all about it by clicking the link.

Regata de Globos is held at the soccer field down the hill from our house. Leslie and I got there a little after 3 p.m. and joined other members of CASA — Culinary Arts Society of Ajijic — at the organization’s tent with lots of snacks plus beer and wine. CASA sponsored one of the globos, hiring a group of locals to make it and launch it. Lots of businesses and organizations do that. Here’s a two-minute video of the launch:

Not all the globos soared into the sky, though. Several ended like this one:

Launches went on into the night. We left the field about 6 p.m., but we could see some of them from our patio — too far away to take a photo, though. Each globo has a small flame at the bottom that keeps the inside air hot and keeps the globo aloft. After dark, you can see the flame, even from a distance. We watched one of them sail east toward Chapala, and it looked like an alien spacecraft!

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A team works on their globo, patching small holes and tears in the paper so it will stay aloft.

The bigger celebration, though, was Monday, Sept.16: Mexican Independence Day — also known as Diez y seis de Septiembre. There were parades in Ajijic and other Lakeside villages. Diez y seis is always preceded by the Grito de Dolores, a call to arms by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. The Grito began the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. Hidalgo, a Catholic priest, is considered the father of Mexican independence. Unlike George Washington, though, Hidalgo was martyred early in the struggle for freedom from Spain. Every year on Sept. 15, the Mexican president re-creates the Grito and rings the same bell Father Hidalgo rang. Governors and mayors around the nation do the same.

Next up are the Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, celebration, followed by several other fiestas. In Ajijic, the most important is Fiesta de San Andrés near the end of November. Saint Andrew is Ajijic’s patron saint.

So it’s party time from now until early January! We’ll keep you posted.

Hasta luego!

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There’s no steering on a globo, so sometimes they crash into inanimate objects. This one slammed right into an antenna on top of Plaza Bugambillias (center), which is just west of the soccer field. The globo was wiped out, the antenna was undamaged.

And here’s one more video: