The Carnaval celebrations in Ajijic, Mexico, last for six days and feature some of the town’s most colorful characters, the masked zayacas.
Nearby Chapala celebrates Carnaval for nearly two entire weeks, but as the events there are organized by the local government, it ends up being used more as a tourist attraction for tourists from Guadalajara. Chapala’s Carnaval often attracts famous, national-level bands who play nightly concerts and sometimes drop the mayor’s name in between songs during performances.
In Ajijic, Carnaval is still organized by the townspeople, for the enjoyment of the townspeople, plus any visitor who wants to get “powdered” with flour, be they from Guadalajara or another country.
“Years ago, Chapala decided to stop organizing its own fiesta and participate only as spectators and detractors of its fiesta. We can’t let this happen in Ajijic,” writes Domingo Márquez Flores in a Facebook post which has been shared 110 times. Flores is the publisher of the local weekly newspaper, El Semanario de la Laguna.
“The great thing about Carnaval in Ajijic is not its majestic floats or technology, but the atmosphere of the locals in conjunction with the tradition of throwing flour by the sayacas.”