Candelaria Day

In Mexico and most of Latin America, Candelaria, or the “Feast of Purification” takes places every year on February 2nd. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm, festivity and even an occasional bullfight. In San Miguel, though, there’s a unique and special tradition–a large, outdoor plant sale. For an entire week brightly colored buds of every flower imaginable, interspersed with hand-painted pots and large clay plant holders, cover the ground of Parque Juarez near the center of town.

This year Candelaria ran a little longer than usual due to poor weather. It rained for four days and four nights straight. No one thought it would ever end. It was the talk of the town, on the tip of every taxi driver’s tongue, since this unusual weather had never happened before in the living history of San Miguel.When the sun finally made an appearance there were orange and lemon trees; red, purple and white bougainvillea; and spiny cactus sitting next to tulips from Holland, rare orchids and large palm trees. The park filled up with people, pointing to their plants of preference, which were then loaded in a wheel barrel and pushed away by neighborhood boys eager for tips.

This vibrant tradition symbolizes the beginning of planting season, as well as the official end of Christmas when nativity scenes are put away till the next year. This day is also known for parties, hosted by the person who received the figurine hidden inside the Rosca de Reyes, a special sweetbread, served on Three Kings Day (January 6th)

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