Costa Maya Newsletters: of primary interest to property owners from Mahahual / Majahual - Rio Indio - Placer - Uvero - Punta Herrera - Xcalak and other points along the southern coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico
*******************Costa Maya Newsletter*******************
Jats'a-já - the first annual festival for the anniversary of Dean.
I just returned from the Festival of Jats'a-Já. It was the first of what I hope are many festivals celebrating the rebirth of Mahahual. The Mayan Word means the moisture that enters house when it rains - there is no equivalent in English or Spanish that I'm aware of and it has nothing to do with hurricane. I grilled both of my Mayan workers who were in agreement with the meaning and they couldn't figure out how the word was used for the festival. I'm certain that if you live in a Mayan style house, the word has more meaning than it might to those living in sealed up homes that were made to keep the cold out. Mayans traditionally live in houses meant to breath - thatched roof with wooden poles stuffed with the palm fibers to keep the mosquitoes out yet allows breezes to enter. There are usually no windows and only a front and back door that allows the wind to blow through. The traditional Mayan houses are slowly being replaced by concrete structures. I
I wonder how much of the real Mayan culture is really remaining here in Quintana Roo. For example, the Festival of Jats'a-Já was accompanied by Mayan Ceremonies to bless the boats and the sea. This was a lovely ceremony with everyone wearing white. Still, it didn't seem very solemn with children running all over the place screaming and people talking over the ceremony. The priest looked like he walked off the field and came to Mahahual without changing his clothes. Meanwhile beautiful Mayan women dressed in traditional dress gathered around a fire preparing tortillas by hand as offerings to the gods. Despite the casualness of the ceremony, I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the tortillas afterwards!
I've placed more pictures below along with commentary and the schedule. I look forward to this activity next year where it should be bigger and better.
|VIERNES 22 AGOSTO 2008 / Friday
HORA/TIME: 17:00–18:00 MISA DE ACCIÓN DE GRACIAS/Prayer of thanksgiving
HORA/TIME: 18:30 INAUGURACIÓN DEL PRIMER FESTIVAL MAYA DEL JATS’A JÁ / Inauguration of the Festival Maya del Jats’a Ja
HORA/TIME: 19:00 PROCESIÓN NAUTICA DE PROTECCIÓN AL JATS’A JÁ/ Nautical procession
HORA/TIME: 20:30 CEREMONIA MAYA/ Mayan Ceremony
HORA/TIME: 21:00 LANZAMIENTO DE FUEGOS PIROTÉCNICOS/ Fireworks
HORA/TIME: 22:00 - 3:00AM MUSICA DISCO/ Disco Music
SÁBADO 23 AGOSTO 2008/ Saturday
HORA/TIME: 10:00 – 21:00EXPOSICIÓN FOTOGRÁFICA “MAHAHUAL ATRAVÉS DEL TIEMPO” / Photographs of Mahahual through time
HORA/TIME: 14:00 – 18:00 MUESTRA GASTRONÓMICA “LAS DELICIAS DE MAHAHUAL” / Samples of Mahahual Restaurants
HORA/TIME: 17:00 – 19:00 TORNEO DE PATINAJE / skating tournament
HORA/TIME: 10:00 – 18:00 EXPOSICIÓN Y VENTA DE ARTESANIAS DE COSTA MAYA Y CHINCHORRO (por confirmar) / exhibition and sale Handicrafts of Costa May and Chinchorro
HORA/TIME: 21:00 – 3:00 BAILE CARIBEÑO / Caribbean Dance
DOMINGO 24 AGOSTO 2008/ Sunday
HORA/TIME: 9:00 – 12:00 ACUATLÓN / Aquathalon
HORA/TIME: 13:00 PREMIACIÓN Y CLAUSURA / Awards and closing ceremony
|Children enjoying the podium before festivities start.|
|Mayor of Mahahual gives a surprisingly short speech to open the festivities.|
|Mayan Priest preparing the altar for the offering to the gods and blessing of the boats and the sea to protect against the storms.|
Nautical procession- a lovely part of the ceremony where people were invited onto the boats to join in the Nautical Procession.
The fireworks consisted of a single firework accompanied by a lot of bottle rockets.
|Decorated boat ready for the parade.|
|Mayan Altar with offerings to the gods. This ceremony was later in the night at the end of the first nights activities.|
|Nostalgic remembrance of Dean. Some surprisingly touching photos were displayed.|
|About a dozen restaurants (including Mayan Beach Garden) shared some of their dishes with the crowd. Only about 250 people showed up for this - they missed a treat!|
|Swimmers ready to race the Aquathalon|
|Runners on the Malecon|
Above: the Aquathalon participants exhausted but ready for the closing ceremony.