The Jesus walk

We did a church tour yesterday, the four of us.

Nephew, age 9, sister-in-law, age 50, child bride, age 51, and me, timeless.

It’s Holy Week, called Semana Santa hereabouts, and that prompted the tour.

Our mountain town is overrun with tourists, something that appeared unlikely earlier in the week, but yesterday they showed up in droves.

Few are foreigners, however, because foreigners are afraid to visit due to hysterically silly publicity above the border.

We took off from the Plaza Grande afoot, heading up the hill to the Basilica for our first stop.  A Mass was under way, but we just barged in.

I gave my nephew one peso to light a candle.  You can’t light real candles anymore, just electronic ones.  Pathetic.  No more good smell of burning wax.

If you exit through the main door and continue straight down the hill four blocks, you get to the Sanctuary, which is actually a big church, ancient like they all are here.

After a few minutes in the Sanctuary, we departed and walked three blocks to the San Francisco church. Yes, we have old churches all over the place.  No shortage of places to kneel and weep.

And feel guilty about everything.

One of the candle gizmos didn’t work in San Francisco because coins were stuck in the slot.  Nephew put my peso into a second gizmo, but nothing happened.  It just ate the money like a Vegas slot machine.  Nothing in return.

We wuz robbed!

I told Nephew this church is worthless.  We left.

Two blocks farther on, we entered the San Juan Church.  We didn’t see any candle gizmos there, so we just stayed a brief spell.

We would have visited more churches because we have plenty, God knows, but the parade was scheduled to start.

Last night’s parade consisted of Jesus statues from churches in the area.  Big statues, little statues, mostly bloody statues, and there were “Christian prisoners” and “Roman soldiers” too.

Tonight there will be another parade, the highlight of which is a procession of people decked out like purple-hooded Klansmen.  There is smoke and bells.

It’s fun to watch these things even if you’re not a Christian.

And God knows I’m not.

21 thoughts on “The Jesus walk”

  1. I attended my first Mexican Good Friday procession yesterday. And I am not quite certain what I thought of it. Nothing as elaborate as what the highlands produce. I was not certain if I was going to report on it. But why not?


    1. Stuffmexicanpeoplelike? Well, anyway, to answer your question, he seems to have cooled a bit on that notion though he is still quite versed in religious matters. I’m sure after he hits puberty and realizes his hootchy-cootchy options will be limited to choirboys (who later will file suit against him) and the occasional randy nun, he will forget the idea altogether.


  2. I rather like the ambiance of the high mass given with its open doors. People packed inside and out, the smell of incense and tequila in the air all at the same time. Everyone’s celebrating the way they like, some pray and others dance the night away. An explosion of energy so profound you can’t but enjoy! I am and haven’t felt a twinge of guilt.


      1. The church I passed by was giving a late night mass. People I’m sure started celebrating hours before.


      1. Not sure I would label myself a non-believer…I do, however, have a personal relationship with reality…


  3. Our colonial mountain town of Alamos has also been overrun with tourists from other parts of Sonora. As the population is able to buy cars and explore their wonderful country….they will throw their beer cans in the streets and blast rap music through the cobblestone alleys and buy all the junk food the plaza has to offer and leave mountains of garbage in front of the church…no guilt here. I may have to take another trip to Patzcuaro to play the candle machines.


  4. Apparently Jesus also appreciates fireworks. Last night in F’s barrio in DF, several fireworks were set off. On asking F why this was, he said people were getting ready for Jesus’ resurrection today.

    Personally, I thought this was kind of laughable, but as you’ve written many a time, Mexicans don’t need much of an excuse to set off roman candles and other such paraphernalia.

    Fortunately this morning is surprisingly quiet.


    Kim G
    DF, Mexico
    Where we’ve been hanging out for nearly 2 weeks now.


    1. Kim: I see you’re still trying to “make sense” of these people. Can’t be done.

      We also had racket last night for the same reason. Any reason is a good reason to make racket.

      Enjoy your stay of hanging out. We’ll be there in the capital briefly Saturday night before getting on the plane Sunday morning to Cuba.


  5. I like the occasional mass, especially Easter mass. Long, but beautiful. I presume you were in Guadalajara for the church tours? I remember the grand churches of that city.


  6. There were and are so many “tourists” here that you couldn’t stir them with a stick if you wanted to. (Almost all Mexican nationals) I ventured out yesterday for the big B-day celebration and then scurried right back home. Have enjoyed the tranquility here at my hilltop retreat while the others stand in hot sun, breathe incense (which always used to make me faint) and see “bloody Jesus’s”.

    I can hardly wait for Monday…….I sound kinda “bah humbug”, don’t I? So true………


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