St. Martin's Carnival

St. Martin's Carnival

February-March; Tuesday of Carnival week
The highlight of Carnival celebrations in the village of Huixquilucan, Mexico, is a mock battle between two local churches. In the church of St. Martin, an image of the saint on horseback is given a new suit and sombrero each year. Across town, in the church of San Juan, a humble statue of the Virgin Mary appears in a pink dress and white veil and crown. According to local legend, St. Martin mounts his horse nightly and goes to visit the Virgin at San Juan church. Members of the San Juan church resent the implications of this legend and insist that their Virgin would not accept any male visitor at night, whether saint or ordinary mortal.
The argument comes to a head on Tuesday of Carnival week, when the two churches battle each other late in the afternoon. Both sides use firecrackers, rotten eggs, eggshells filled with paint, and even sticks and stones as weapons, and the battle continues for a couple of hours. Finally, the authorities call a halt to the event, and both sides claim victory.
CONTACTS:
Mexico Tourism Board
21 E. 63rd St., Fl. 3
New York, NY 10021
800-446-3942 or 212-821-0314; fax: 212-821-0367
www.visitmexico.com
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 36
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