The Mardi Gras Parade, also known as the Fat Tuesday parade, is held on the last day of Carnaval and the beginning of Lent. It is the most fun of all the parades, with all the essential features necessary for a rollicking good time. Elaborate floats and costumes, marching bands, dancing horses, are all seen along the parade route.
A unique feature of the parade are the Zayacas – men dressed as women with exaggerated body parts and wearing masks as well as Zayacos – men & boys dressed in old clothes, wearing masks with long beards. No one I’ve asked seems to know the origin of the disguises, the figures carry flour which they throw on the young boys running ahead of them as well as some spectators.
The Escaramuza Riders, another feature of the parade, are a sight to behold, representing Mexico’s female equestrians in the rodeo sport of Charreria. Dressed in the traditional Escaramuza outfits of sombreros, colourful dresses with great big skirts and leather boots, they are quite stunning as they guide their horses along the street – by the way, they ride side-saddle!
While attending the parade, watch out if you don’t want to have flour or confetti thrown on you, although it’s all part of the fun. You’ll see elaborate costume and masks, hear all kinds of music as you follow the parade as it winds its’ way to the Plaza. The square is abuzz with activity, carnaval rides for the children, non-stop music, all manner of food stands and other vendors as people eat and drink their fill before the beginning of the Catholic Lent, a time of prayer and fasting for the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
The following short video will give you a glimpse of the parade experience – enjoy!!
For a comprehensive list of other major dates please our ‘Entertainment’ and ‘Major holidays’ sections of the FAQ on our website!