SAN MARTIN TILCAJETE CARNAVAL

Every year on the eve of Ash Wednesday in the Zapotec village of San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca, locals dress in great costumes, most as Devils with elaborate wooden masks & black oil on their bodies and dance on the streets with brass bands to have fun before Lent begins and with it, 40 days of peace, food penitence and prayer. 

This tradition began in Colonial Oaxaca as most festivities were celebrated in combination of existing ethnic fiestas and strong Catholic rituals.

Families prepare for weeks or months the costume they will use for this joyous day which consists in running thru the streets & alleys scaring locals who knowingly sit outside their homes waiting to see all their friends & neighbors in their special costumes, offer them traditional drinks such as Tepache & Mezcal so they can refreshen before they move along and others pass…
then, in the afternoon all will gather at the town plaza and dance and party for hours and hours of fun!

“San Martin Tilcajete Carnaval” by Florencio Moreno.

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