D'a de los Charros

D’a de los Charros

September 14
In Mexico the charros, whose name means "loud" or "flashy," are skilled horsemen who were originally rancheros (ranchers) of mixed Spanish and Indian blood who took pride in their horses and amused themselves by holding riding competitions with each other. They decorated the harnesses with silver and wore elaborately embroidered costumes.
Today's Mexican charros are more sportsmen than cowboys or ranchers. Most belong to one of the many charro associations, each of which has its own ranch and arena for rodeos. It is on September 14, the day before the Mexico Festival of Independence, that many of the charro associations organize parades and rodeos. The jaripeo, or rodeo, generally consists of 10 or more events involving special horse-handling skills and exhibitions of various tricks. Bringing a running horse to a full stop by lassoing its front feet is known as a mangana, and the cola involves riding very close to a running steer and grabbing its tail, which the charro then twists around his own right leg, forcing the steer to fall on its back and do a complete roll. Perhaps the most difficult trick is the paso de la muerte (death's pass), where the charro pursues a wild horse, switching from his own horse's saddle to the back of the wild horse at full gallop.
The typical charro's costume features a pair of snug pants together with a long-sleeved top called a guayabera, a waist-length jacket, a bow tie, and a sombrero (wide-brimmed hat). These Mexican horsemen generally carry guns, symbolic of the role the charros have played in Mexico's wars.
See also Charro Days Fiesta
Mexico Tourism Board
21 E. 63rd St., Fl. 3
New York, NY 10021
800-446-3942 or 212-821-0314; fax: 212-821-0367
FiestaTime-1965, p. 141