Pre-Carnaval Events in Ajijic
Carnaval lasts seven days in Ajijic, but due to the Catholic liturgical calendar, those exact dates vary year to year.
In 2019, Carnival — spelled Carnaval in Spanish and otherwise known as Mardi Gras north of the border — occurs on March 5. But the real events in Ajijic always start three Sundays before.
All the parades are organized by the town’s charros (cowboy) association, so there are lots of horses, cowboys and Ajijic’s unique tradition of the crossing-dressing masked sayacas, who chase kids through the street and throw flour at the crowds.
Additional parades occur:
- Sunday, February 17
- Sunday, February 24
- Saturday, March 2
- Sunday, March 3
- Monday, March 4
The pre-Carnaval parades start at a house on Galeana behind St. Andrew’s Church. It heads to the plaza, and then to Seís Esquinas (Six Corners) along Hidalgo, before turning east and heading to the town’s bullring via Constitución/Ocampo. (Constitución, like the other east/west streets in Ajijic changes its name to Ocampo once you cross Morelos).
Pre-Carnaval Parade Route
Below is the parade route for the pre-Carnaval parades. The parade route for the actual day of Carnaval is slightly different.
Carnaval Day Parade Route
The parade route for this day is different than the one pre-Carnaval parade route above.
The parade on Carnaval starts at the foot of the tianguis, where market day takes place, and proceeds west on Constitución/Ocampo. Once the parade reaches Seís Esquinas, it turns east and heads to the plaza along Hidalgo.
Last updated December 23, 2018
Photos of Carnaval
The Masked Sayacas of Carnaval in Ajijic
One of Ajijic's unique traditions are the sayacas, who form a core part of the town's Carnaval celebrations each year.
In the Lienzo Charro After the Pre-Carnaval Parades
Each of the five pre-Carnival parades ends at the town's lienzo charro. The best translation might be "bullring," but this is a ring for riding bulls, not killing them.
At the end of the parades, kids and sayacas chase each other for about 15 minutes. Kids who successfully escape the sayacas' attack get enormous roars from the audience, which on some days reaches 1,000 people. (The Sunday before Carnaval is always the most popular day with the most sayacas.)
Carnaval Day in Ajijic, Mexico
Carnival in 2019 is March 5. This parade is different than the five pre-Carnival parades that come before. It has lots of floats, lots of spectators and lots and lots of flour.