Lakeside Guide to Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico

Fiesta for Our Lady of the Rosary

At a Glance

Most towns in Mexico have their own patron saint & Virgin which people celebrate each year with multi-day fiestas. Ajijic’s patroness is Our Lady of the Rosary, who is honored for the entire month of October, culminating in a grand procession & festival on October 31.

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This month-long festival for Ajijic’s patroness, the Virgin of the Rosary, culminates on October 31 with a massive procession through the streets.

The procession starts at 5 p.m. behind Church San Andrés and ends at the plaza an hour later.

October 31 Parade Route

Photos of Fiesta for Our Lady of the Rosary

Banda Llano Grande performs in the rear courtyard of San Andrés Church in Ajijic before the procession for the Virgin of the Rosary.

Banda Llano Grande performs in the rear courtyard of San Andrés Church in Ajijic before the procession for the Virgin of the Rosary.

A girl stands in a diorama on a float while dressed as Our Lady of the Rosary.

A girl stands in a diorama on a float while dressed as Our Lady of the Rosary.

Dioramas with representations of scenes from the Bible accompany the statue of the Virgin of the Rosary on her journey from the church around the town.

Dioramas with representations of scenes from the Bible accompany the statue of the Virgin of the Rosary on her journey from the church around the town.

A conchera, or Aztec dancer, wears an elaborate headdress made of pheasant feathers during the 2013 Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico. The dancers take part in many of Mexico's Roman Catholic holidays, which to this day continue to incorporate many customs with pre-hispanic, non-Catholic origins.

A conchera, or Aztec dancer, wears an elaborate headdress made of pheasant feathers during the 2013 Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary. The dancers take part in many of Mexico's Roman Catholic holidays, which to this day continue to incorporate many customs with Pre-Hispanic, non-Catholic origins.

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An Aztec dancer lights incense before the procession begins at 5 p.m. Dancers, bands, escaramuzas, and floats start gathering on Galeana Street behind the big church after 4 p.m.

An Aztec dancer lights incense before the procession begins at 5 p.m. Dancers, bands, escaramuzas, and floats start gathering on Galeana Street behind San Andrés Church after 4 p.m.

Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala

Dance of the Niño Dormido

Dance of the Sleeping Child

A father & daughter perform an ancient dance from Mexico’s southernmost state, Chiapas.

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Purchase This Fine Art Print
A little danzante azteca blows a conch shell.

A little danzante azteca blows a conch shell.

The statue of the Virgin of the Rosary starts its trip around Ajijic. Throughout the year, she is kept in her chapel on the Ajijic plaza. At the end of September, she's carried in a series of two evening processions first to the church in Seís Esquinas and then to the Church San Andrés, where she stays put for the month of October.

The statue of the Virgin of the Rosary starts its trip around Ajijic. Throughout the year, she is kept in her chapel on the Ajijic plaza. At the end of September, she's carried in a series of two evening processions first to the church in Seís Esquinas and then to the Church San Andrés, where she stays put for the month of October.

Marching bands take part in this procession and many others in the area.

Marching bands take part in this procession and many others in the area.

Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary

Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary

Guelaguetza

Oaxaca’s Guelaguetza Dances Come to Chapala

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See this Photo Essay
A bugler plays in one of the marching bands.

A bugler plays in one of the marching bands.

Clarinetists in a banda perform in the parade.

Clarinetists in a banda perform in the parade.

A conchero dances in the last sunlight of the evening.

A conchero dances in the last sunlight of the evening.

Parents help their infant walk in the procession for Our Lady of the Rosary.

Parents help their infant walk in the procession for Our Lady of the Rosary.

Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary

Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary

Fiesta of the Virgin of the Rosary
Aztec dancers during the procession.

Aztec dancers during the procession.

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Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala

Dance of the Little Old Men

Dance of the Little Old Men

A dancer in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, performs La Danza de los Viejitos, the Dance of the Little Old Men, a traditional dance from Michoacan.

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Purchase This Fine Art Print
The procession ends back at Church San Andrés just after sunset for an outdoor mass on the church atrium.

The procession ends back at Church San Andrés just after sunset for an outdoor mass on the church atrium.