June 5, 2013

0669 MEXICO (Chiapas) - Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo (UNESCO ICH)

Located in the Grijalva River valley of the Chiapas highlands, Chiapa de Corzo is a small city, important of the archaeological point of view, because here were found the earliest inscribed date, the earliest form of hieroglyphic writing and the earliest Mesoamerican tomb burial. It's also the first Spanish city founded in Chiapas (1528), but after a while, because of the climate, many of the Spaniards moved into what is now San Cristóbal de las Casas. Chiapa was left for indigenous and Dominicans and called Chiapa de los Indios, San Cristobal being known as Chiapa de los Españoles.

The most important event in the town is The Fiesta Grande de Enero (Great January Feast), which takes place every year between 4 and 23 January, to honor local patron saints Our Lord of Esquipulas, Anthony the Great and Saint Sebastian. The festival was included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2010, as Parachicos in the traditional January feast of Chiapa de Corzo

The main characters of the feast are Parachicos, the Patron, Chiapanecas and Chuntas, which refer to a story from the colonial era. The legend said that a rich Spaniard woman named María de Angula traveled in search of a cure for a illness suffered by her son, which no doctor could cure. When she arrived in Chiapa, haunted by famine at the time, was directed to a curandero, who tought her to bathe the boy in the waters of a lake. The boy was miraculously cured, and Doña Maria, happy, gave food to the entire town. To amuse the boy, a local group disguised themselves as Spaniards and began to dance para el chico (for the boy). They are the Parachicos of today, i.e. men with wooden masks, yellow wigs, and very colorful sarapes. The Patron is their leader, who directs and makes the music that will accompany the contingent of Parachicos. Chiapanecas (in the postcard) are women wearing elaborate black floral embroidered dresses, as the one that is said to have been worn by Doña Maria, with jewels and elegant hairstyles. Chuntas are men disguised as women, who are fun to party with.

In the back of the Chiapanecas is La Pila fountain, constructed in 1562 in Moorish style, made of brick in the form of a diamond. It measures 52m in circumference and 12m in height. It has 8 arches and a cylindrical tower which occasionally functioned as a watchtower.

About the stamp, which is part of  the series México creación popular (Folk Art Mexico), I wrote here.

Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas - Wikipedia
Parachicos and chiapanecas - Connecting Flights
The Big Festival in Chiapa de Corzo City - Demotix

sender: Maggie Alonso (direct swap)
sent from Ecatepec (Mexico / MEXICO), on 15.05.2013
photo: Vicente Kramsky


  1. I just wanted to tell too - very colorfull card and bright color :)