There’s always something special going on in San Miguel de Allende.
Annual local events crowd the calendar with a rich and varied banquet of doings, from traditional fiestas and processions to world-class concerts, film festivals and firework spectacles. San Miguel is famous as a “fiesta” town, although it is arguably more renowned for its horseback riding opportunities, and hot air balloon rides.
San Miguel loves to party, and, like most of Mexico, it has a serious love affair with fireworks.
March 15th to 17th welcomes the Celtic Festival and St. Patrick’s Day to town. St. Pat’s is a surprisingly popular holiday in Mexico. Mexicans use the day to honor the San Patricios who were drafted into the army and sent to fight in the Mexican-American War from 1846 – 1848. Dismayed at fighting fellow Catholics and suffering from discrimination and mistreatment by their Protestant commanders, hundreds of Irish soldiers changed allegiance, and joined the “enemy”, forming the San Patricio Brigade of the Mexican Army. Dozens were killed at the Battle of Churubusco in 1847, and many more were captured and executed by the Americans. Today the Mexicans remember them fondly as “The Irish Martyrs.”
On September 13th the festivities begin on a low key, with civic ceremonies to honor the Niños Heroes. This group of six young military school cadets in Mexico City defended themselves and Chapultepec Castle against invading U.S. troops in 1847. As defeat drew near, rather than surrender to the Americans they wrapped themselves in Mexican flags and leapt to their deaths. This San Miguel event honors them every year.
November 22nd is recognized as Musicians’ Day, music makers of every kind gather at midnight in front of the Oratorio church and offer up an all-night serenade to the Virgin. November is a quiet, pleasant time in San Miguel, usually with perfect weather, less traffic, and with fewer tourists crowding the benches in the Jardín.