As a Mexican, September and October hold a special place in my heart, making them two of the most awaited months of the year and also a time when sleep becomes a rarity, all thanks to the vibrant holiday spirit that engulfs the nation. Picture this: an explosion of colors, sounds, emotions, costumes, parades, and paper stars gracing every corner. This is particularly true in San Miguel de Allende, where the festivities kick off due to the birthday of the city’s patron saint, San Miguel Arcángel, on Sept. 29. And as any good Mexican knows, the spree doesn’t stop there.
Wonder why there are people dancing on the streets in Indigenous costumes for over three weeks? Don’t worry, I got you. The excitement begins a week before the saint’s birthday with lively parades and fireworks galore (and I mean a lot of fireworks) with the multi-day Reseña de la Alborada. The celebration reaches a crescendo with La Alborada the weekend closest to Sept. 29 (psst, fireworks start at 4 a.m., so earplugs are a must). Otherwise, prepare yourself for a long, fun, vibrant night in the main square. And just when you thought you were finally going to get some sleep, the festivities continue for yet another week, awaiting the main parade.
But wait, there’s more! I’ll show you the Spanish you need to know at a Mexican fair
October ushers in the Feria de San Miguel de Allende, a lively yearly fair featuring rides, music and so much more. Imagine a grand stage hosting Mexico’s most iconic regional bands. “La banda” holds immense significance in our musical culture, drawing in audiences from all corners of the country, some of which include Los Tigres del Norte, Banda El Recodo, La Arrolladora Banda Limón, La Adictiva, to mention a few. For you, someone seeking authentic experiences, this festival is the ultimate destination. As a bonus, listening to the music can help you understand and immerse yourself in the culture. Alongside the music, indulge in the diverse flavors of Mexico at food stalls and challenge your skills at the game booths, from popping balloons to mastering marble challenges.
And then there’s the unforgettable man with a microphone glued to his lips, effortlessly selling everything from tiger blankets to Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty quilts, casseroles, tupperware, and an array of kitchen utensils. His ability to talk incessantly is awe-inspiring and hilarious. Engaging with passersby, he weaves humor and salesmanship seamlessly, ensuring laughter is a guaranteed companion.
While the San Miguel fair ends in mid-October, the celebrations are far from over. In fact, what follows is the most anticipated season of the year for every Mexican and avid traveler alike: Day of the Dead. Stay tuned for more useful phrases, excitement and cultural richness as we delve into this cherished tradition together.
Paulina Gerez is a translator-interpreter, content creator, and founder of Crack The Code, a series of online courses focused on languages. Through her social media, she helps people see learning a language from another perspective through her fun experiences. Instagram: paulinagerezm / Tiktok: paugerez3 / YT: paulina gerez