Two weeks before Easter takes an extraordinary procession, which brings a statue of the flagellated Christ of the Sanctuary "Santuario de Jesús Nazareno el" in Atotonilco in the church "San Juan de Dios" to San Miguel de Allende from midnight.
The tradition dates back to the year 1812 back, when the city was ravaged by a plague. Hoping to be able to stop this plague, the statue in the church "San Juan de Dios" has been placed next to the Hospital.
Sundays between 6 and 7 clock meets the procession in San Miguel de Allende and many spectators line to greet the decorated streets. We had seen pictures of them already and want to be doing this year, when the procession arrives in the city.
By talking with locals we find out, that we too can participate in the procession. The decision is taken quickly, because we get an exciting look behind the scenes and experience the procession on the whole 13 km away from Atotonilco to San Miguel de Allende.
We tell Terri & Mike about our plans and they invite, to accompany us on this "night walk".
No one can predict really sleep and when we order 23:15 Make clock on the way, we are excited about, What will the long night yet. Move in the taxi, we encounter many police vehicles and also when we reach Atotonilco, is not to overlook the large police presence.
Countless stalls lining the cobblestone street, which leads us directly to the large square in front of the Sanctuary.
For 2008 heard the remarkable pilgrimage church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (please refer Fotogalerie Atotonilco).
Estimated thousand people have already gathered here and the place fills up ever. We had not expected so many pale-faces, but now we are probably the only ones, not like Mexicans look the.
The veiled statues are on time brought out of the church and on the raised area in front of the entrance there will be a trade fair.
The clergy leave the square with the statues, the crowd starts moving and follows them to the road to San Miguel de Allende.
The procession is still very cramped and between the many legs, we can see the dark street barely. The so "popular in Mexico" Topes (Bodenschwellen) be in this close crowd to dangerous pitfalls.
Ever ever it requires great concentration, the front man not to step in the heel and at the same time on stones, To respect potholes and Topes. The torch brought only limited help in this Enge.
We leave the rough cobblestone streets and reach the well-developed road. It is unilaterally blocked for the procession and so happen to us alternately the long columns of vehicles from both directions, which are each led by a police car.
For short prayers the procession stops often and by the slow movement of the nocturnal cold creeps gradually in clothes high.
At about 3 clock in the morning we reach the open field the Church, where the fair is held longer. There hot drinks and at the various stalls you can provide them with all kinds of hot meals.
Many people lie on the cold floor, and use the one-hour stay, catch by lost sleep. Now it becomes clear, have why so many of the revelers warm blankets brought.
Short Ago 4 clock the exhibition has ended and we close the first groups, the further direction of San Miguel de Allende go.
We are now far ahead of the statues and the procession itself pulls apart.
Cops riding past us and a little later we see a group of young people, all of which are holding their hands in the neck and held by the police at bay mounted.
It is not clear, whether there was an incident or whether it is a safety measure during a routine check. In Mexico, the police is safe with confusing controls on number and provides the persons controlled with raised hands against a wall or on a vehicle. Lack wall and the vehicle must here hands in the neck.
We reach the campsite outside the city and know, that it is no longer far from here to the branch, which leads us into town.
San Miguel de Allende greeted us by 5 clock with splendidly decorated streets, consisting of an endless sea of flowers and colorful effigies of dyed sawdust.
All portraits are still untouched, since the statues have not arrived yet, so we can enjoy all the beauty of this about 1.5 km long, buntgeschmückten Prachtstraße.
We arrive at the end of the decorated neighborhood, It is at 6 clock early and 13 km night walk, bleary-eyed over six hours a day on your feet looking and feeling, We no longer want to wait for the arrival of the statues.
This can still drag on well over an hour, especially on the decorated streets, the procession still slowly progresses and the fair begins at 8 clock in the church "San Juan de Dios".
We go home and fall there tired at dawn to bed.