Carnaval in Ajijic is one of the town’s most rambunctious fiestas, involving a major parade filled with allegorical floats & the town’s crossdressing masked sayacas.
Carnaval is one of Ajijic’s most entertaining holidays, featuring the town’s traditional masked “sayacas,” who throw flour and chase the kids who taunt them during the town’s seven parades.
PRE-CARNAVAL EVENTS IN AJIJIC
Carnaval in Ajijic lasts seven days and is spread out over three weeks, but due to the Catholic liturgical calendar, those exact dates vary year to year.
In 2020, Carnival — spelled Carnaval in Spanish and otherwise known as Mardi Gras north of the border — occurs on February 25. But the real events in Ajijic start three Sundays before on February 2 with weekend parades that begin at 10:30 a.m.
Here’s a video of the start of 2019’s Carnaval in Ajijic from earlier this month:
All the parades are organized by the town’s charros (cowboy) association, so there are lots of horses, cowboys and Ajijic’s unique tradition of the crossing-dressing masked sayacas, who chase kids through the street and throw flour at the crowds.
Here is the 2020 parade schedule:
- Sunday, February 2
- Sunday, February 9
- Sunday, February 16
- Saturday, February 22
- Sunday, February 23
- Monday, February 24
- Tuesday, February 25 (Carnaval)
PRE-CARNAVAL PARADE ROUTE
The pre-Carnaval parades start at 10:30 a.m. at a house on Galeana behind St. Andrew’s Church. It heads to the plaza, and then to Seís Esquinas (Six Corners) along Hidalgo, before turning east and heading to the town’s bullring via Constitución/Ocampo. (Constitución, like the other east/west streets in Ajijic changes its name to Ocampo once you cross Morelos).
Below is the parade route for the pre-Carnaval parades.
After the parade, there’s a reception and lunch on the malecón, to which you are invited. There’s music, some people dancing, drinking, eating, lots of fun. Fiesta time.
After that, check out the jaripeo rodeo in the lienzo charro, usually at 4:30 each day.
Local and sometimes out-of-state bull riding teams put on a show while a banda plays tunes all evening. The crowd slowly trickles in and by 6:30 or 7:00 the place is filled. It wraps up around 10:00.
The lienzo charro is the bull riding ring, located just east of Plaza Bugambilias on Calle Revolución:
In 2020, Carnaval Day (Mardi Gras) is Tuesday, February 25. The parade starts at 11 a.m. and ends about two hours later.
CARNAVAL DAY PARADE ROUTE
The parade route for this day is different than the one pre-Carnaval parade route above.
The parade on Carnaval starts at the foot of the tianguis, where market day takes place, and proceeds west on Constitución/Ocampo. Once the parade reaches Seís Esquinas, it turns east and heads to the plaza along Hidalgo.
The Mazatlan Post