Jocotepec’s fiestas patronales honoring El Señor del Monte kick off Lakeside’s endless string of traditional celebrations.
This year’s festivities got underway on January 2 with the customary renovation of vows of faith in the Lord of the Mount led by ecclesiastical and civil authorities and sponsoring trade guilds.
Allegiance to figure representing the Crucified Christ stems from a belief in answered prayers to alleviate lethal outbreaks of cholera that hit the town in 1833 and 1850, and the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918.
Daily religious activities begin at dawn with rosary devotions, picking up again at 6 p.m. with a procession preceding evening Mass.
The celebration culminates Sunday, January 15, the third Sunday of the month. On that day the image of El Señor del Monte will be carried out of the church at 4 p.m., to be paraded through town accompanied by a throng of pilgrims. As manifestations of faith, some will make the long trek on their knees, others will walk along barefooted and blindfolded, and many will carry elaborately decorated candles.
The secular side of the fiestas includes a bustling street fair wrapped around the center of town, bull-riding contests, cock fights, cultural events, mechanical rides and high decibel musical spectacles at the plaza, and gigantic nighttime fireworks displays set ablaze in the church atrium around 10 p.m.