Day of the Flowers

28 Mar
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On the sixth Friday of Lent, the week before Easter Sunday and only in Guanajuato, is a festival known as El Dia de la Flores (Day of the Flowers). Originally a religious celebration for the Virgin of Sorrows considered the guardian of Guanjuatos’ miners, this holiday is a two-day mixture of the sacred and secular wrapped up in the fragrance of flowers.
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The celebration starts on Thursday morning with flower sellers lining the main streets and the Jardin de la Union. Fresh cut, paper, ribbon and even flowers made of seeds are for sale.
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Sixty years ago this colorful beginning led to dance halls where everyone came to dance all night and drink tequila. This was known as the Baile de las Flores (the Flowers Dance Ball.) At dawn the young people dressed in their best and gathered in the main garden. The men walked in a circle around the garden. Women circled inside the men in the opposite direction. During this el Paso de las Flores (the Flowers Walking) lots of flirting ensued. Once a lady held a gaze, her swain gave her his flower.
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On Friday morning the city comes out to buy flowers for the Viernes de la Virgen de los Dolores (Friday of the Virgin of Sorrows.) Altars are built in public places, hotels, restaurants, churches, and stores and in private homes. Dignitaries walk the city giving cash prizes for the best altar. Restaurants and local organizations, as well as private citizens, give out free drinks and ice cream to passers-by. People offered us juices and papaya ice cream which we happily accepted.
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It feels like every person in Guanajuato turns out for this festival. The streets are spilling over. Many women and girls dress in flowered dresses celebrating the day.
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Vendors sell toys and handmade baskets filled with decorated eggs hollowed and packed with confetti. The eggs are broken on the heads of friends and family showering tiny pieces of color that settle in dark hair and dot the streets.
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We did not stay up all night to watch the dancing. But we did walk the streets filled with flowers and Easter baskets and gifts. And I did catch Dana’s gaze. And he did buy me flowers.
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4 Responses to “Day of the Flowers”

  1. Dede March 28, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    How spectacular, and what a send-off for you two.

  2. Ursula March 28, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    Overwhelming – subtlety to the wind!

  3. Barbara and Ernie Werren March 28, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    ¡Que hermosa y colorosa esta fiesta!

  4. Derek March 28, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Loved it; absolutely loved it. Brought back vivid memories of Semana Santa revels in Spain.

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