Monday, September 06, 2010
La Feria de Santiago de Anaya
We went to a really fun fair in a smallish town called Santiago de Anaya that is probably 20 km from Actopan. This is their church.
It was magnificently decorated with intricate designs that were woven from the leaves of a kind of cactus they call the mountain palm because it has palm tree like leaves. There are the leaves of the cactus pulled out, dyed then woven together.
This is the inside of the church. Locals from mearby towns had come and had brought their town saints so the church was filled with lots of different saints (lots of Virgin de Guadelupes). people were paying coins to get lightly whipped by the priests and their helpers. it made for a rather odd sight because a bunch of kids in jackets were getting whipped. Clearly their parents had told them to wear jackets so the light whipping didn't hurt. It was a strange sight.
This is the tree man cross. I guess when the Spanish arrived the indigenous people already had crosses which meant "tree" to them. So naturally they stuck their own symbolism in the enforced Catholic symbols and this is the result.
This was one of the most authentic feeling events we went too. Although apparently they have another fair wherein people sell all sorts of strange meats like lizards and snakes and this attracts many people. Either way it was very nice.