Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guelaguetza Festival Schedule, July, 2014

Guelaguetza Oaxaca , Cultural Festival Of  Regional Dance, July 2014
Updated July 2014
Guelaguetza dancers perform in Oaxaca City.
 July 16th to the 30th is a festive time in Oaxaca 

Guelaguetza is a word for communal sharing in the Zapotec language.  The annual Guelaguetza celebration in Oaxaca City includes Zapotec, Mixtec, Chatino, Mixe, Chontal  and other indigenous groups who congregate in the city of Oaxaca to celebrate their agricultural way of life.
 The modern Guelaguetza is a celebration that includes performances by groups of dancers who come to Oaxaca City from the eight distinct regions of the State of Oaxaca where seventeen or so indigenous languages are spoken. 
The tradition goes back several thousand years to the thanking of the Gods for favorable crops and the communal sharing of gifts.
In the modern celebration the performers dance and enact stage plays and shower the audience with offerings typical of their region.  This is the essence of the Guelaguetza, (link) a sharing and reaching out in the spirit of community.

  • Guelaguetza Events
The Guelaguetza celebration starts with parades in the City of Oaxaca and then performances at the theater built in the 1970s on the hill del Fortin, above and to the west of the city.  The celebration is one of costuming and performing the regional dances.  The event includes the election of a woman chosen for her knowledge of the history of the traditions.  She  will represent the Corn Goddess.
     The parades start around the 15th of July.  There will be the election of the Corn Godess Centeotl.  This will take place in the Jardin Panuelito near the Santo Domingo Church in the morning during the second week of July.
  Folkloric Parades will take place on  Saturdays of the third and fourth weeks of July.  These parades form at the park of the Stone Cross on the pedestrian-only street Alcala or at the Llano Park and march to the Zocalo.
The feast of the Corn Godess and of the Virgin del Carmen take place around the 15th of July.  Parades are held on various dates (Check with the tourist office for exact dates and routes of the parades.  Parade routes and times can change and deviate from the published schedule)
The stage play depiction of the story of the Princess Donaji, the last Zapotec empress, takes place on the two Sundays before the two Monday Guelaguetza performances.

  • Parades
Parades take place on the two Saturdays before the Monday performances.
The parades form at around 6 to 7pm at the park of the Stone Cross or at the Llano Park.
The parades head south down Benito Juarez Avenue and Alcala to the Zocalo.
 Youtube,  Parade Video

The Parade of Delegations could include as many as 40 delegations represented.  The parades start at the Park of the Stone Cross near the Pochote Garden or at the Llano Park and walk to the Cathedral and the Zocalo  The two Parades of the Delegations take place the Saturday before the Monday Guelaguetza performance.
The staging area and route to the Cathedral and Zocalo can change depending on street conditions so it is best to check ahead at the tourist office.
(Check with tourist info as these dates and times could change.  See website listing below.  We will update these as dates are announced by the tourist agencies)

Guelaguetza 2014 Schedule and Ticket Price

2014 dates:  Two days of performances; July 21 and July 28,
Two performances daily, 10 am performance and 5 pm performance
Ticket Price:  Section A,  1237 Pesos, Section B, 960 Pesos,
Section C and D, free

    Book with TicketMaster

Parades, Saturday 19th and the 26th, forming between 5 pm and 6 pm at the Llanno Park. Parade route is south on Benito Juarez Avenue, around the Park Consatti, South on Benito Juarez, and then west on Abasolo to the pedestrian-only Alcala and then south to the Zocalo and ending in front of the Cathedral. 

  • Guelaguetza Performance
The Guelaguetza festival performance takes place on the first Monday after the 16th of July.  A second performance takes place on the following Monday.
 July 16 is significant as the day honoring the Corn Goddess Centeotl.
 The 16th of July is also the feast of the Virgin del Carmen (Virgin of Mount Carmel) in the Spanish Christian religion.  The Colonial Spanish combined the ancient religions and Christianity to make the 16th of July the important date of this event.
The Goddess is elected a few days before the start of the Guelaguetza. 
The date for the first performance of the Guelaguetza can change to the following Monday if the Monday after the 16th happens to fall on July 18th, the anniversary of the death of former Mexican President and Oaxaca native Benito Juarez.  The Guelaguetza event is also called the "Los Lunes del Cerro" or Mondays On The Hill.   

  • Princess Donaji Performance
 The Princess Donaji enactment takes place on the two Sundays before the Monday Guelaguetza.     8:00pm,  100 pesos for section A and B  (Proceeds benefit the Oaxaca old peoples home)
 Musical groups perform starting at 5:30 pm

  • Where
The Guelaguetza tradition has been combined with the Catholic Virgin del Carmen and as a result, one of the parade staging areas could be the church of Carmen Alto on Calle (street) Garcia Vigil.
The other staging area for the smaller parades is the Stone Cross Park.  The larger parades will form at the Llano Park, three blocks east of the Stone Cross Park.
The Saturday parades will form up in staging areas eight blocks north of the Zocalo at the Llano Park located on avenida Benito Juarez.   
 On Monday, the participants walk to the hill to the west of the city, Cerro del Fortin, and the auditorium, where the stage plays and regional dances take place.

  • Tradition
Regional dancers perform in the auditorium
and at locations around the City of Oaxaca
during the weeks of July 16th to the 30th 
This tradition is a continuation of ancient rituals based on the connection between the Gods and the favorable conditions for agriculture.  Corn was a primary crop of the ancients and was first developed or hybridized around 5,000 years ago in Oaxaca State.  There are long standing traditions in Oaxaca of honoring the Rain Gods and Corn Gods and of offering regional foods as gifts.

The Guelaguetza has become a popular cultural event throughout the country particularly after 1987 when Oaxaca reached UNESCO World Heritage status.  The modern, high-speed highway built in 1994 has made the event easily accessible to visitors from Puebla, Veracruz, and Mexico City.  Oaxaca's small but modern jet airport with direct flights from Houston and Mexico City has made the City of Oaxaca (link) a destination for international travelers.  
Rainy season will be well established by July so umbrellas could be important in case of afternoon showers.

Oaxaca Hotels      (links to Oaxaca Info)

Tourist Office, City Tourist Information  is a good source of up to date information
The City Tourist Office is located at 102 Matamoros.
They are across from the club La Tentation at the big i Between Calle (street) Garcia Vigil and the Alcala.
 The State Tourist Office will provide information and ticket sales  They are located at the edge of Llano Park on the west side.

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