Charros in their unique outfits at Tlaxcala Carnival. Charros in their unique outfits at Tlaxcala Carnival.

Tlaxcala is celebrating its annual carnival this week

With rich traditions, brilliantly colored costumes and masked revelers parading through the streets, carnival is in full swing in Tlaxcala this week.

The celebration began on Thursday with an inaugural parade in Tlaxcala city in which 80 troupes of costumed dancers romped down the streets on a route that included various government buildings, public plazas, the Tlaxcala Art Museum and the bullfighting ring.

The party continues through the weekend until Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which begins the Catholic observance of Lent.

A signature feature of such festivities in Tlaxcala are the capering huehues (“old men” in Náhuatl), dancers who don colorful costumes and masks representing old people. In total, the carnival celebrations will include 387 troupes of huehues from 40 municipalities across the state.

The biggest party is in the capital, Tlaxcala, but visitors can join in the festivities in nearly every town and city in the state.

Pantola is a good place in which to observe the fiestas. Here troupes perform the dance around la garrocha, or maypole, as well as that of La Jota, a traditional dance from Spain.

The charros, or cowboys, in Tlaxcala don costumes totally distinct from others called by the same name elsewhere in the country. Instead of the traditional cowboy outfit most recognize as the uniform of the mariachi band, these charros wear frilled capes, huehue masks and hats adorned with huge, colorful feathers. Their dance is a must-see at Tlaxcala’s carnival.

The fun may have already begun, but there are still lots of parades, workshops, photography competitions, drawing classes for children and other events to celebrate carnival in Tlaxcala before it’s all over on Wednesday.

But if you can’t make it to Tlaxcala, there are carnival festivities going on in Veracruz and Mazatlán as well.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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