Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today is first day of spring and we drove back to the beach at Las Labradas to witness the celebration held each year on the date of the Spring Equinox. We went with friends who had never been, so we took some time when we arrived to climb the rocks in search of petroglyphs.
There are over 300 at the site, so of course we found ones we had not discovered on our first visit! The actual celebration was held a bit further down the beach and it was a fascinating mix of ancient Indian culture and Catholicism.
We lined up to be blessed by the Shaman (for want of a better word), surrounded by the smell and smoke of burning incense.
The blessing however, also involved the holding of a rock, which we surmised has special, magical, properties. Roses were dipped into scented water, and these were used to annoint those being blessed. One of the roses broke as I was being sprinkled- apparently it was an omen, of what we're not sure. I'm going to think positively.
There were half of dozen dancers, varying in age from middle age to early teens. It was quite interesting watching the dancers prepare themselves - this young man actually protected his legs with newspaper before wrapping them with shells, a luxury the original Indians had to do without!
This little guy didn't move too far from the side of one of the musicians. I'm guessing he was Grandpa.
There were actually two sets of musicians, and plus one man who played the flute.
We're not sure how the fireworks tied in, but this is Mexico, and it just isn't a celebration without them! There were no colours but they were loud and we all oohed and awed, and several of us were tempted to cover our ears. We noticed just after our arrival that we were being protected, however even our watchguards were temporarily diverted by the displays.
Of course, the day was also about the dancers and they were fascinating. Pictures don't really do them justice, so just hit the arrow on the left hand side and enjoy! We were thrilled to see the traditional Dance of the Deer, which we have seen before on a short video prepared by the Government of the State of Sinaloa to celebrate Mexico's Bicentennial.
The site I mentioned is 'sinaloaunmundomagico' and it really is magico! The video quality is also somewhat better than ours!
We had the opportunity to participate in a rite of spring that has been celebrated for thousands of years and It was a wonderful experience. The sun shone, the beach was stunning, we were with good friends, and were surrounded by the lovely Mexican people who never fail to make us feel welcome.
What more could we ask for?