Let me introduce you to one of MY FAVORITE CELEBRATIONS IN MEXICO! This festival is called the Huipil and Coffee Festival in Cuetzalan, Puebla. We are witnessing this festival with a special week September 28 – October 5, 2017. It is a combination of cooking in Tepoztlan and visiting the Historic City of Puebla as well as experiencing one of the most authentic and beautiful Mexican festivals in Cuetzalan. The full itinerary can be found here.
So what is a “huipil?” A huipil is a traditional blouse that is made by the indigenous women in Puebla. The festival of the huipil takes place to select a huipil queen for the region. One young woman is selected from each of 11 towns around Cuetzalan. She is then judged by village elders on the quality of her blouse, her traditional attire and her ability to talk about her village along with its history as well as preserving traditions in both Spanish and Nahuatl (the Aztec dialect). This is an incredibly engrossing ceremony that takes place in the town square in front of the cathedral.
Prior to the Huipil coronation ceremony, there is a full day of the “voladores” or flyers who climb an incredibly tall tree that has been placed in the town square and slide down ropes upside-down until they reach the bottom. A flute player dances on top of the log while the flyers come down and then he or she joins the other at the bottom. Each village has their own style and you cannot take your eyes off of them. I have seen this day now three times and I am mesmerized!
Later in the day come the procession of dancers from each part of town. These extravagantly costumed dancers each have their own personality or character and they come one-by-one into the town square while the voladores continue with their descent. Each group of dancers accompanies an elaborate wax sculpture that is to be delivered to the cathedral. As well, in previous years we have been graciously invited by the “mayordomo” or local sponsor of the event to visit his or her house in town where the dancers come to pay their respects before proceeding to the cathedral.
There is a ton of things that we do during the Huipil week like visiting Puebla – the talavera pottery plant, the centro historico for the walking-eating tour, the incredible International Baroque Museum. We also visit our friend in Libres, Puebla to have a wine and cheese party at his very beautiful little establishment. I have more to share about this week so more entries will be coming! We still have space for this year’s event in September and we would love to have you join us!