It is that time of the year again here in Puerto Peñasco, the college and high school folks are celebrating SPRING BREAK 2017 with a lot of partying going on. So what do Spring Break and Easter Holy Week (Semana Santa) have in common? The word is PARTY! It is amazing that it seems like just a short time ago we were talking about Spring Break 2016 and Semana Santa 2016 and now here we are again as we prepare ourselves for the deluge of kids and families for both events.
They arrived on Ash Wednesday of last week. We spotted 2 of the Fariceos or Pharisees as they are also known are in town and surely there will be a few more. In 2016 there were 4 groups of 2. These are the people that walk the streets dressed in masks made of fur or cow, deer or goat hide and long robes or blankets wrapped around them. You can usually hear them coming as they also wear leggings with shells and or bells that make sounds as they stroll around the neighborhoods and the Malecon as well as beating drums. The masks come in all shapes and forms from clown like faces to animals and anything and everything in between.They never speak to you or take off their masks in front of you but sometimes they will gesture that they would like food. So no one can recognize them, they place a small whistle under their tongue to communicate with each other. When you first see them, it is scary until you learn the history behind the process.
The Fariceos travel the region of Sonora for 40 days prior to Easter and travel from town to town and house to house and performing their dances in order to raise money for their celebrations. Their travels start in Júpare, a small town near Huatabampo, Sonora. It is estimated that there are well of 500 of the Fariceos in the State of Sonora.
For the most part, these people are chosen to be Fariceos by family or friends and it is their task to be alone for one year. It is said that this is a way of giving thanks for something good that happened to the family member or friend. They do not take this duty lightly. So when the 40 days are over, there is always a party with music, dancing and food.
Now to current times, Rocky Point is the closest Seaport for Mexican Nationals to come from many neighboring states and cities. Combining all of these people who have come to visit family and friends as well as the Mexicans that come from the United States, the town is jam packed. On Good Friday after the procession, all heck breaks loose. If you have plans to go into the Malecon on Good Friday, you had better be there by 9 am and get a place to park and then you won’t leave until late in the afternoon. These folks party all day and all night and you will hear music going until the wee hours of the morning.
So now you know what Spring Break and Easter Holy Week have in common… it is and called a PARTY. Come down and enjoy the festivities and learn about the culture and history of these holidays and enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez. However, if you are the type that is in a rush to get somewhere, perhaps, you need to reschedule your visit. Remember the long lines of vehicles coming in to Mexico and how long it may have taken you, well bear in mind you will probably meet these folks again on your way home, so be patient, sit back and smile.
If you don’t have a reservation, check out www.puerto-peñasco.com, or any of the other companies that handle condo and beach front house rentals. There are still some units available, but they won’t last long.