As with most days in Mexico, there was something to celebrate yesterday Monday Oct. 27th, 2014. My cousin Julian was getting married in Tlaquepaque, Mexico. His bride is EreenDy, a delightful young woman. Both are from Tlaquepaque.
And to take part in the civil ceremony my mother, Rebeca, came to town...all the way from Los Angeles, CA. Accompanying her were her 2 sisters, Teresa and Ema....who were all gathering at the wedding ceremony to see their 4th sister, my Tia Ninfa....a reunion to celebrate.
Tia Teresa and my Mom, Rebeca in front of the Teatro Degollado.
The fountain in front of the Teatro was designed and built by my father, Javier.
We started the day with a stroll around the Centro Historico of downtown Guadalajara. As part of our Fiestas de Octubre, I remembered the Cantera stone carving competition usually held in the plaza. So we decided to visit and were not dissappointed.
Mom in front of the Church of San Agustin
My father attended university classes next door
Cantera Stone is a uniquely quarried, volcanic rock that is mined exclusively in various regions of Mexico and Central America. Its name derives from the Spanish word for quarry.
Fco. y Rebeca Framed by Cantera
My mother and her sisters took the "red eye" flight and arrived early at Guadalajara Intl. Airport. Early or not we were there to greet them with open arms and somewhat sleepy eyes.
Julian Daniel Estrada Hernandez y Erendira (EreenDy) Jazmin Cruz Ibarra
My cousin Julian and his bride EreenDy decided to have a civil ceremony on a Monday, because they met on this particular Monday, several years ago.
We all gathered at the Registro Civil for the ceremony.
EreenDy, Mom and Julian
Ninfa, Rebeca and Ema
Well wishes were made and sage advice given
The Judge also had a few words for the newlyweds
A bit of nerves and much joy
What I love about the beauty of Mexico is that it is intrinsic to everyday life. Here we were in the middle of Tlaquepaque, so why not take advantage of all it had to offer. After the ceremony we headed to the centro or Parian, to stroll along cobbled stone streets lined with architectural gems and distinctive art.
While strolling to our restaurant for a celebratory dinner, we found the marimba band, Playa Azul. The musicians serenaded the newleyweds en route....and an impromptu wedding dance was had.
My godson, Jorge
Sergio Bustamante Sculpture Garden
When in Tlaquepaque I always visit the studio/gallery of artist Sergio Bustamante. Not only is Sergio a native son of Tlaquepaque, his work is known and collected world-wide. He is a personal favorite and one artist who's work should not be missed.
Casa Luna Restaurant, Tlaquepaque
After a short stroll meandering through artesan shops, garrafa ice cream parlors and sampling local street vendor fair we arrived at our destination...Casa Luna. Arriving without a reservation, they promptly seated our entire wedding party in the main patio and the feasting began.
Tias and Niece
Tias Ema, Ninfa, Rebeca and Teresa Reunited
Julian's older brother Manuel and his beau
The faroles or paper lanters seen throughout Casa Luna were hand-made probably
by my cousin Raul Hernandez in his home/studio in Tlaquepaque
Cousin Hector in a pensive mode
Cousins Marcela and Carlos sharing a moment
Tias Ninfa y Teresa
Brothers Jorge y Angel
After a wonderful, lazily enjoyed meal we ventured out in the late afternoon into the plaza, filled with people and energy.
The Nava Girls
Not to anyone's surprise we found the Voladores de Panpantla in the plaza, ready to perform. Magic is part of life here, and we don't take it for granted...mostly we expect it to occur and welcome it into our lives.
Voladores De Papantla
Flyers of Papantla
In Maya mythology the creation of the world is associated with a mythical bird deity (Itzamna) residing at the World Tree (the center of the world). Five "birdmen" at the top of a pole represent bird deities. The main dancer stands in the center and plays a flute, which represents the sound of birds singing. The four other "birdmen" (representing the four directions) spin around the pole to represent the recreation of the world (and the regeneration of life).
In the early form, instead of one five men there are six men dressed as birds with each member climbing on top and performing a dance and at the end tied ropes around their waist and who all jump in unison and descend downwards. Many villages in Mexico banned this version of the practice due to injuries and even death
The four modern day voladores typically circle the pole 13 times each, for a total of 52 circuits, or the number of years in the Aztec "calendar round".
As the Voladores touched down and the sun set I realized we had come full circle...another day done.
I gave thanks for the day, for the gathering of loved ones, for time spent with my mother Rebeca, for the beauty of our lives and the joys these gifts bestow on us. And I remembered my Tio Daniel, whose patient heart and nurturing gentleness inspire me to this day. We reminisce and smile with the realization that he still lives in all his family today.