In his namesake neighborhood, the annual celebration of St. Michael the Archangel in Mexico City’s San Miguel Chapultepec illuminates the busy streets with festivities and entertainment. September 29th is known to many Western religions as “Michaelmas” or, “The Feast of Saint Michael,” and honors him as one of the foremost archangels and the defender of good over evil. As The Lift’s headquarters is located in the heart of San Miguel Chapultepec, we bear witness to the long-established block party each fall. This year, we took to the streets to see how our neighbors were celebrating this centuries old tradition in 2022.
In 1524, just three years after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan, a chapel dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel – or the “Celestial Warrior”, as he was often called – was erected on the hill of Chapultepec. The city has ties to numerous spiritual happenings as it also served as the starting point for ritual processions when a Tlatoani (an Aztec leader) was enthroned. The area also served as a main water source for the city of Tenochtitlan. Carrying a legacy of natural beauty and bounty, the neighborhood of San Miguel Chapultepec dates back to the 16th century when a chapel that remains to this day was built.
Today, the celebration of Michaelmas takes a form more akin to a carnival than a religious procession. Families fill the fairgrounds while the tantalizing scents of baked sweets and fried delicacies fill the air. Children of all ages enjoy rides and competitive games set up by a traveling crew of technicians with impressive speed. The festival is an accessible source of local tradition, culture, and entertainment for the community at large – and luckily, we got to take part in the celebration too.
Scroll below to see scenes from the festival, as captured by our talented team member Jus Asaf.