A Travellerspoint blog

Candelaria in Oaxaca

sunny 28 °C


It's a long weekend in Oaxaca but the labour unrest continues.However, with so many visitors in town to celebrate Candelaria, (Candelmass), the street vendors are back on the job – especially the balloon sellers....


It is no wonder that there is a worldwide shortage of helium. It's all here in Oaxaca. Giant candle shaped balloons are particularly popular with those celebrating the day on which Jesus was supposedly first taken to the temple...


While the street vendors called off their strike and were back at work over the weekend the drivers of hundreds of taxis, tuk-tuks and transport trucks clogged the streets of Oaxaca during rush hour on Friday. The protest fizzled with little inconvenience to us and as the evening wore on wedding processions took over the streets with stilt walkers, giant mannequins and marching mariachi bands...


From then on the weekend just got more exciting. Oaxaca City is one of the most colourful and vibrant cities we have ever visited. Music is everywhere. Roving musicians compete with all manner of bands and a full orchestra played for hours in the Zocalo...


Sunday, (Candelaria), saw a big turnout at the cathedral where many people took their Jesus dolls to be blessed....


Baby Jesus dolls fill the shop windows at the moment and we have absolutely no idea which one we should buy – some of them are distinctly un-babylike ...


And then came the big event when thousands of women wearing traditional costume streamed through the streets waving banners and flags while chanting in unison...

Although the parade didn't compare with the Candelaria celebrations in Puno, Peru, it was a gloriously moving sight...


However, these young ladies were not headed to the cathedral. They were marching on the Government offices to protest against physical and psychological violence towards women.

Mexico is a conundrum. All the people we have met here have been kind, helpful and absolutely charming, yet this is a country steeped in violence. Everywhere we see posters reminding us that assassinations and abductions are commonplace – some 30,000 people a year are murdered. It would be nice to think that these lovely young women can somehow change that dreadful reality.

Posted by Hawkson 12:50 Archived in Mexico

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What a visual feast.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Nothing like that here but lots of Mexican tourists coming to the beach to enjoy the ocean. Unfortunately it has been raining - a lot - since yesterday. Just brought Rupert home and are getting a laugh from his antics!

by Joyce

Colour and sound. Memories of Mexico for us, too, the sounds lasting well into early morning hours. Formally dressed musicians we did not see, most wore sombreros, bandanas and played guitars.

by R and B

I hope you had tamales...this is when those who found the baby Jesus in the Rosco de Reyes are obligated to supply the tamales for the group!

by Keith and Helen

Okay that's enough of all the sun and colourful balloons. It's cold and rainy here so could you please find darker scenes to make us feel better?

by Janet

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