January Events in
San Miguel de Allende

T he year kicks off with a banquet of January events in San Miguel de Allende.

This month marks the beginning of the high season for tourism. Not long after the holidays, the winter folks begin to arrive. The cultural calendar starts heating up... and so do the crowds.

For exact dates, times and locations for all January events in San Miguel de Allende, check the "Que Pasa" section of Atención San Miguel.

January 1 - New Year's Day (Legal Holiday). As midnight begins to chime, Mexicans will eat 12 grapes for luck in the coming year. Many also go to midnight mass.

January 3 - Birthday of two heroes of Mexican Independence—Juan Aldama González and Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro, known as "El Pípila." Both were born in San Miguel. Observances are held at the church of San Juan de Dios at 10 am.

Early January - San Miguel Poetry Week—readings and events celebrating the art of poetry are held through-out the week.

Boy in a Three Kings Day Parade in San Miguel de AllendeJanuary 5 - All-night Three Kings Market sets up on Calzada Guadalupe. In nearly 700 stalls, vendors offer toys, games and kids' clothes.

January 6 - Three Kings' Day (Feast of the Epiphany). The traditional holiday gift-giving day for children, it commemorates the gifts the Magi brought to the infant Jesus. Children leave their shoes out to be filled with gifts. Many will leave hay in their shoes to feed the camels of the Tres Reyes," the Three Kings.

Families will eat rosca de reyes today, a fancy bread made with citron, cherries and figs. Buried inside is a tiny baby doll, representing the baby Jesus. Whoever gets the slice of rosca with the baby doll must provide tamales and atole (a hot drink), at a family party on Candelaria, February 2. In the days leading up to the holiday, the shelves of the "pastelerias" will be overflowing with rosca" in many shapes and sizes. Here's an authentic Rosca de Reyes Recipe.

January 17 - Blessing of the Animals to celebrate the feast day of San Antonio Abad. Pets and farm animals of every shape and kind, from cats and dogs and birds and turtles, to hens, rabbits, ducks, and the ubiquitous San Miguel burros—and even goldfish—are brought to the churches to be blessed by the priest. Locations vary but the blessings are most commonly held at the Oratorio and San Antonio church and sometimes at San Juan de Dios.

Statue of Ignacio AllendeJanuary 21 - Birthday of Ignacio Allende, the town's "favorite son" and namesake, born in 1769. His birthplace on the corner of the Jardín, now the Historic Museum, is decorated with wreathes. Speeches and civic and military parades mark the day.

January 24 -Arrival of pilgrims for the peregrinación, or pilgrimage, to San Juan de los Lagos. As the pilgrims come into town, they are greeted by church bells, dances and fireworks. This pilgrimage is the largest in the western hemisphere. Some three million or more pilgrims from across Mexico will walk for many days, sleeping in the open, to converge on the small town of San Juan de los Lagos, in the state of Jalisco. Their goal is a small shrine to the Virgin Mary. Nearly 20,000 of those pilgrims will walk from San Miguel and environs, reaching the village after nine days. They create a moving city of all ages, carrying banners, singing songs, chanting, praying.

January 24 - Departure of the pilgrims to San Juan de los Lagos. The crowd gathers near the railroad station on this morning to set out on their trek, and observers are welcome to come and see them off. It is a quintessentially Mexican moment and offers a window onto this very special culture. Foreigners are also welcome to join the pilgrimage, and several do each year. Just remember to travel light.

At the height of the winter season, the long list of January events in San Miguel de Allende is sure to make your visit a wonderful one.

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