Monday, January 18, 2010

El Señor del Monte - Jocotepec Jan 2010

Every year, about the second week in January,
mi pueblito celebrates El Señor del Monte - the Lord of the Mountain.
Yesterday was the last day of the festival
marked by the procession of El Señor through the pueblo in the evening.

There is a beautiful icon of El Señor that resides above the church altar 
364 days a year —  and 21 hours.  
For those other 3 hours He is taken down from the altar
and carried by noble men of the village, around and through the pueblo, 
in a procession.  

Step back, here it comes!

The clanging bells announced the emergence of El Señor through the church doors;
carried by the noble men.

Out into the street, and around the town they went.

There were Indians from nearby pueblos,
some with metal plates on their feet, doing syncopated dances.

Many of the people in the procession, and some of those watching along the roadsides,
traveled here by chartered buses from far away pueblos.
The buses are now parked along the highways and outlying roads.

Some of the devotees have special needs and ask El Señor
to grant their prayers by walking the procession on their knees.
Family members lay folded blankets out in front of them to kneel on.
Some elect to do it without!


El Señor brings up the end of the procession.  
He is followed by a pickup with loudspeakers
and someone praying and singing.

The bystanders then step in and follow the throng back to the church.

The crowd, as usual, was staggering.

 After that?
Well, for some, an outdoor Mass begins when El Señor returns to the church.

For others, its party time.

The plaza and the whole town centro was ablaze with lights, booths,
games, food, tequila, and rides.

The hand of God giveth 
 The hand of God taketh away.


  1. Is that last picture also from your town? Its quite morbid. I love the pictures of the Indians.

  2. Yep. It's part of a haunted house ride on the plaza, directly alongside the church.

  3. What a great description of the El Senor del Monte event - when it can seem an overwhelming experience on many levels! Love the extremes, the glory of the religious and the love of gruesome morbidity, too.

  4. I love your blog! I was just in Joco for the very first time and fell in love with the whole experience. The fiestas were awesome and the food was delicious. I wish I could one day pack my bags and finally move out there but I simply don't have the guts to do it. I like that you have included pictures from the fiestas as my camera is out of order right now so I am very glad to have found this blog and share with others your stories. Keep up the good work!

  5. Thank you, e, for your nice words of encouragement. Glad you're enjoying the blog, hope you are able to make it back one day.