By Ken and Bea
A very mature group from the pueblo of La Peñita, gathered at the Bridge of Life to form the procession that made the pilgrimage to the church in the plaza for 5:30 P.M. Sunday mass.
Although many carried ordinary palm branches, (10 pesos each), almost all the women carried intricately-woven palm fronds in the shape of crosses or woven cup-shaped receptacles holding sprigs of chamomile flowers (25 pesos). The chamomile flowers (flor de manzanilla) signify healing as they are used for the healing of various ailments. Chamomile flowers also symbolize purity, patience and energy.
We had a front-seat view from our balcony as we observed the padre visiting with the parishioners while Yolanda and her helpers conscripted men to represent the 12 apostles.
It was quite humorous to see the man dressed as Jesus demoted to one of the apostles because he was too big to be carried by the burro.
The procession got underway about 5:15. It was led by the Padre. Next came Jesus riding on the burro and the 12 apostles (actually they only could manage to get 9), followed by the group carrying palms and singing, “Viva Cristo Rey” all the way to the church.“
The church doors were adorned with palm branches, and vendors were doing a brisk business offering woven palm fronds and manzanillo flowers for sale. I understand the monies from the sales are for the church and charities.