Have a Baja Moment! Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion
Summer is fiesta time in Baja Sur. Now that the kids are out of school or home from college, each village sets aside a few days to celebrate…usually on the birthday of the saint the town was named after. Here in Bahia Asuncion, our Traditional Fiestas, or Las Fiestas Tradicionales, are held around the 15th of August, the Day of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The official dates for this year’s fiestas are August 15th-19th.
On the first day of the fiestas, the statue of the Virgin Mary is removed from her pedestal in the local Catholic church and paraded through the village, as well as being taken for a panga tour around Asuncion Island. The parade leads about 100 horses in a Cabalgata, which is like a car rally, but with horses. The cowboys and cowgirls don their fancy western attire, and horses and their riders come from far and wide to participate. Typically, there are over a hundred riders in the Cabalgata. The procession ends at the church, where the participants are blessed. A feast follows in the evening. The queen of the fiestas is crowned at the opening ceremony, and folkloric dancers and other performers take the stage with a live band.
The fiestas last for four days, all of which are packed full of activities for the entire family. There are sporting events on the beach, and a fishing tournament scheduled for Sunday, Aug.18. The marine quarry is yellowtail and calico bass, and the tournament is open to the public for a nominal entrance fee. Cash prizes are awarded in several categories, which include adult, kids in pangas, and shore fishing. The fish is cooked up afterwards at a big community BBQ (with live music, of course!).
The fiestas also features horse races, rodeos, and car & motorcycle races, as well as a midway with food booths and rides for the kids. There is also music everywhere, with roving bands at every event, and nightly dances with live entertainment.
It is a very lively festival and the village is full of visiting families from the surrounding ranches and villages. So if you happen to be in central Baja around the middle of August, come stay with us and enjoy the festivities!
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