First Friday in March – The Festival of “Nuestro Señor de la Conquista”. The faithful come to the Parroquia to recite 33 prayers, one for every year of Jesus’ life on earth. conchero dancers preform in front of the Parroquia on this day, arriving shortly after dawn and dancing till dusk. They dance in honor of “Christ of the Conquest,” one of the most revered statues in San Miguel de Allende’s Parroquia church. Fashioned of cornstalks and orchid bulbs, the statue was brought from Pátzcuaro and represents the acceptance of Christ by Mexico’s indigenous people. The concheros wear elaborately feathered headdresses and costumes festooned with bright colors and metallic fabrics, and move to the deep, steady beat of large drums. This is the most colorful of all the March events in San Miguel de Allende, and one of the best of the entire year. Bring your camera and lots of film or flash cards. This is definitely a “Kodak moment.”

Mid March – Annual Festival of Cuban Culture. A week-plus celebration of Cuban culture in all forms, with concerts, lectures, a book and music fair and other events, all free. Most events take place in the Jardín, others at Bellas Artes. It’s a fun and festive celebration with hip-swiveling music ringing into the night. Check local nespapers for exact dates and times.

March 15-17 – Celtic Festival and St. Patrick’s Day. St. Pat’s is a surprisingly popular holiday in Mexico. Mexicans use the day to honor the San Patricios. These Irish immigrants to the U.S. were drafted into the army and sent to fight in the Mexican-American War (1846-48). Dismayed at fighting fellow Catholics and suffering from discrimination and mistreatment by their Protestant commanders, hundreds of the Irish soldiers deserted to the “enemy” and formed the San Patricio Brigade of the Mexican Army. Dozens were killed at the Battle of Churubusco in 1847, and many more were captured and executed as deserters by the Americans. The Mexicans remember them fondly as “The Irish Martyrs.” An Irish film festival and parade usually mark the holiday in San Miguel de Allende

March 19 – St. Joseph’s Day. San José, the husband of the Virgin Mary, is one of the patron saints of San Miguel de Allende. The day is marked by processions and fireworks and a special mass at the Oratorio church.

Friday before the first day of Spring – One of the most charming parades of the year brings out the children to celebrate the official coming of spring. The little ones dress up like flowers and animals—bumblebees and butterflies are particularly popular—and parade up Insurgentes past the library, then up Reloj and around the Jardín. This precious day is another time to be sure to have your camera with you! So many good shots, so little time!

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