Literally translating as "The Dawn", this crazy festival could only happen in Mexico. It would certainly be illegal in the US (much to the shagrin of personal injury attorneys, who would make a fortune if this type of thing was allowed up north). In a nutshell, this is a pre-dawn fireworks battle like nothing you've ever seen or heard. It's just one part of the celebration of the feast day of San Miguel, the patron city of our town, which actually lasts an entire week (very Mexican). The Alborada itself is a re-enactment of St. Michael's battle with Satan, so the idea here is to have a fireworks battle between good v. evil. Armed with gigantic bottle rockets of tremendously dangerous power, San Miguel's holy warriors launch them from right in front of the cathedral out into the crowd of people standing in the central plaza. Satan gets his fair share with his own barrage of huge, spark-trailing rockets that are fired straight up into the sky from the roof of the municipal office on the opposite side of the plaza.
|San Miguel initiates the battle with flames and explosions...|
|...followed by rockets fired at Satan's minions in the plaza...|
|... aka the crowd, who bravely dance amidst the blasts...|
|...and here's Satan's reply from the other side of the square...|
|The firemen stand by, ready to put out burning tourists...|
|Another view of San Miguel's rockets being launched from the cathedral into the square.|
This year was a bit more tame. I avoided the thieves and explosions and only suffered a few burn holes in my jacket, some mild bronchitis from the smoke inhalation, and ringing ears for the next 12 hours. And this time I managed to get home with my camera to document the spectacle...
And as if the endless battle between St. Michael and Satan wasn't enough, the Alborada concludes with one additional fireworks display with the lighting of a "castillo", a three storey tall tower of spinning, spark spitting, rocket firing pyrotechnics that concludes with a three foot wide sparking wheel that shoots a few hundred feet into the air before burning out and crashing down on someone's roof deck. Only in Mexico!
|The castillo gets going...|
|...more sparks are flying into the crowd...|
|...and the grande finale blasts off into the sky.|