Saturday, 25 July 2009

Santiago Apostle Festivities

Santiago Apostol Festivity in Mexico July 25
On July 25th is celebrated the festivity for Santiago Apostle. Many cities, villages and small towns in Mexico are named after Santiago Apostle as he was the main Saint of the missioners in the process of evangelization in Mexico.

The festivities are celebrated in different ways, last for several days and include dances like the famous Moors and Christians dances, "marmota" dances, serenades, "entradas de cera" pilgrimages, fireworks and music.

Dances characteristic of this celebration are Santiagos Dance, Dance of Moors and Christians, Chareos and Tastuanes dances. The website Popularte has very good informations describing this and other dances of Mexico.

"Entrada de Cera" is a religious pilgrimage very early in the morning where people carry candles and beautiful decorations made with wax. The video above shows a "Entrada de Cera" pilgrimage in Santiago Azajo Michoacan .

Entrada de Cera -
Check a "Entrada de Cera" in this post about the celebration of Senor del Hospital in Salamanca Guanajuato. You can see in the pictures the beautiful candles made for this celebration.

Ruth Lechuga article about Cera Escamada
Tastoanes Ixcatan Jalisco - picture from

In the state of Jalisco the festivity of Santiago Saint is celebrated with the Tastoanes dances in the villages of San Juan Ocotan, Nextipac, Cerro de la Reina, Santa Cruz de las Huertas, Zalatitan, Mezquitan, Ixcatan, Jocotan and Tonala.

The Santiago Saint festivity is one of the most importants in Tonala in the state of Jalisco and the tastonaes dances have been represented for hundreds of years. The post Tastoan de Tonala explains that the dances represent the battle between the Cascanes Indians (Tastoanes) and the Spanish conquistador Nuño de Guzmán  in the year 1530 in which the Santiago Saint showed up mounting a horse during the battle helping the Spaniards to win the battle. In the dance the main figure is the Santiago Saint trying to defeat the indigenous people (tastoanes).

For all the tradition, cultural and artistic value of the dances, masks, dressing and music the tastoanes festivity and dances will be submitted as a candidate for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity status.

The following videos are the Tastuanes dance in San Juan de Ocotan Jalisco

Tastuanes dance - Nextipac Jaisco

Tastuanes dance in Zacatecas