Not exactly, but today is both my birthday and the grand finale of the Guelaguetza, Oaxaca’s biggest festival. This past week people from all over the state of Oaxaca, the country of Mexico, and even from various parts of the world have come for this year’s Guelaguetza. This is a cultural dance festival, highlighting the dances from each region of the state.
I had looked forward to this, hoping we could attend. Then I found out it’s held, not in the zocalo (public square) as I had thought, but rather in it’s own auditorium and tickets are 400 pesos ($40) a head. I resigned to wait until next year.
However, on Saturday, someone told us that Huayapam will be having it’s own Guelaguetza on Sunday. I was thrilled! Our little town having the dances right here!
You bet we went. Even though it was a mini version of the real thing, I loved it! Instead of having original dancers, these were locals representing the regions with appropriate traditional dress performing the unique regional dances. (And, yes! that included the Mexican hat dance).
The entire town square was alive with food vendors, drink vendors, balloons, cotton candy, etc ad fiestum. The best part was at the end of each performance, they would throw things out to the audience that represented their region. Some threw out candy, some bolillos (rolls), and some small fruit. Then it became even more interesting and at times dangerous as heads of lettuce, bunches of cilantro and radishes, and even apples and coconuts (!!!) were thrown into the audience. At one point, as I was taking a photo, I got bopped in the head with a bag of totopos (nachos). Not painful, but my kids especially found that humorous. Ha ha.
I don’t know what my family has in store for me today, but I already had a nice treat yesterday with Guelaguetza Hauyapam 2008! Enjoy the photos: