Enrique Vega Ayala, chronicler of Mazatlan expressed that the party has undergone great changes since its inception, however, the festive and celebratory atmosphere is maintained.
Mazatlan, Sinaloa.- Today the Mazatlan Carnival is considered one of the most important festivals in the country, and is even placed in the top three of the best known worldwide, but do you know how this tradition was born? The chronicler of the city, Enrique Vega Ayala tells us.
According to the first documents dating from 1827, where the first masquerade took place, which was rather a demonstration of soldiers who had not been paid their emoluments, who exposed their disagreement through a parade that was recorded as such, it would be the first party look.
Later, in the 1930s and until 1897, French formats of the “flour games” were adopted, where “excesses” were carried out throughout the city as the first expressions of the popular Carnival festivities, a time in which a fair was also placed, in Plazuela Machado and Mascara Dances were held, for which permission was even requested to use them, which is where the first official data is obtained.
“It is very likely that this type of demonstration already existed, but that is the first that we have documented, you know that at that time, already in the 1920s, in the 19th century, ‘flour games’ were held, they were called spontaneous demonstrations of neighborhoods, groups, families, who went out to the streets to celebrate on the days that the Catholic calendar established that they were Carnival, this type of celebration.
Already in 1898, after several attempts at social pressure to eliminate the “Flour Games”, the board that is in charge of leaders is finally organized with the participation of the city council to incorporate them into the ‘confetti and streamer’ format, which is when the era of the allegorical cars, which were carts or decorated bicycles, along Constitución street from the area of the docks to the square, which were moved by horses.
It was in the ’20s of the new century when all the cultural slang was incorporated into the party, with the first Floral Games parties that were celebrated independently at the request of artists from Mazatlan since 1925, but already in 1928 It was when the Queen of Carnival was approached for the first time to preside over the party, but it was not until 1937 that the incorporation of Friday of the Floral Games became official as part of the party’s poster.
Although the Carnival was born with the figure of the King, being the most important, in the incorporation of women as “companions”, in 1900 the first Queen Consort, Winnie Farmer, emerged, which generated a great impact among women, but it was until 1910 when the figure of the Queen was installed as a central aspect, where the competitions became fierce, a situation that remains to date, due to the competition to win the crown, which at that time was for money.
Vega Ayala narrates that, at the impulse of some neighborhoods of the Historic Center, there were cars and representatives of children in 1926, although the official incorporation within the dates of the Carnival occurs until 1968 since in that inter it was celebrated in the month of April the celebration of childhood.
The tradition of the king as the main figure returns in 1964, but previously there was the proclamation of certain characters in the city who declared themselves as “ugly king” and who fixed their own cars and participated in events, currently, and after several years of having male representatives as “King of Joy”, currently the figure of men as part of the royal family of each annual celebration has regained strength and importance.
Currently and after several decades in which the election of the Queen has been by jury, adopting the formats of beauty contests, the party generates great interest among the young in Mazatlan or ‘adopted’ by Mazatlecos, but also among girls and men who want to live that illusion.
Carnivals, explains Enrique Vega, have had to live through various social circumstances such as the Mexican revolution and the assassination of Governor Rodolfo T. Loaiza, but also health phenomena that have prevented their celebration on several occasions, due to the bubonic plague, a pandemic of smallpox; in total, there have been six.
On this occasion, the Mazatlán Carnival will take place in the midst of a pandemic, that of Covid-19, but this is not expected to change the course of the party, although it will change the ways of celebrating it among people, although well, It is known that this tradition involves tumult, irreverence, drunkenness, and dancing, which cannot be done with a healthy distance, in the face of this, people must be a little aware of the care they have and above all with respect for the established protocols. by the authorities.
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